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THE 

MISSING 
fe PIECE 

A REPORT FOR CASEL 


A National Teacher Survey 
on How Social and 
Emotional Learning Can 
Empower Children and 
Transform Schools 

By Civic Enterprises 

with Peter D. Hart Research Associates 

John Bridgeland I Mary Bruce I Arya Hariharan 





CIVIC 

ENTERPRISES 


Civic Enterprises is a public policy firm 
that helps corporations, nonprofits, 
foundations, universities and 
governments develop and spearhead 
innovative public policies to strengthen 
our communities and country. Created 
to enlist the private, public and nonprofit 
sectors to help address our nation’s 
toughest problems, Civic Enterprises 
fashions new initiatives and strategies 
that achieve measurable results in the 
fields of education, civic engagement, 
health, and many more. For information 
about Civic Enterprises, please visit their 
website at www.civicenterprises.net. 


^^RESEARCH 

ASSOCI ATES 


Hart Research has been one of 
America’s leading public opinion 
and strategic research firms for four 
decades. Throughout that time, Hart 
has been at the forefront of identifying 
and understanding Americans’ 
changing expectations, attitudes, 
and behaviors, and views on public 
policy. Hart Research’s clients come 
from virtually every sector of society, 
including politics, labor unions, media, 
non-profit organizations, and for-profit 
organizations including many Fortune 
500 corporations. For more information 
about Hart Research, please visit their 
website at www.hartresearch.com. 


W' 

Collaborative for Academic, Social, 
and Emotional Learning (CASED is the 

nation’s leading organization advancing 
the teaching of academic, social, and 
emotional skills. Our mission is to make 
social and emotional learning an integral 
part of education from preschool through 
high school. Through research, practice, 
and policy, CASEL collaborates to ensure 
all students become knowledgeable, 
responsible, caring, and contributing 
members of society. Learn more about 
our work at www.casel.org. 


TABLE OF CONTENTS 

Open Letter to the American People by Jennifer Buffett and Timothy Shriver 3 

Executive Summary 4 

Introduction 11 

Survey Overview 13 

Survey Findings 1: Teachers Understand, Value, and Endorse 

Social and Emotional Learning for All Students 14 

What Is Social and Emotional Learning? 16 

Snapshot: Montgomery County, MD: Schools and Communities Collaborate on SEL Strategic Plan 19 

Survey Findings 2: Teachers Believe Social and Emotional Learning 

Helps Students Achieve in School, Work, and Life 20 

Snapshot: The Student Perspective 21 

Snapshot: Cleveland, OH: SEL Is Invaluable to Improving Behavioral Outcomes and School Safety 27 

Survey Findings 3: Teachers Identify Key Accelerators for 

Social and Emotional Learning 30 

Snapshot: Austin, TX: School and District Efforts Align for SEL Results 36 

Paths Forward 37 

Snapshot: DuPage County, IL: Implementing SEL State Standards at the Local Level 39 

Conclusion 42 

Acknowledgments 43 

Appendix 1: Methodology 44 

Appendix 2: Additional Information on CASEL and Resources on SEL Implementation 46 

Endnotes 48 

Bibliography 55 


A National Teacher Survey on How Social and Emotional Learning Can Empower Children and Transform Schools 




The Missing Piece 



AN OPEN LETTER TO THE 
AMERICAN PEOPLE 


by Jennifer Buffett and Timothy Shriver 

In too many classrooms and schools across America, children are missing a critical piece of their education. Year after year, and test after test, 
students and their teachers focus on the cognitive elements of education, while other life skills are often absent from the in-school experience. 
Reading and writing are intentionally taught, but not always resilience and responsibility. Arithmetic and higher math skills are embedded in 
school goals, but not necessarily persistence and grit. In some classrooms, an “either/or” dynamic has been established where core knowledge 
is taught, but not the skills to work cooperatively with others, resolve conflicts, and persevere. From the schoolhouse to State House, “academic 
skills” have been emphasized, tested, and reported upon, but another essential aspect of a child’s education — social and emotional learning 
(SEL) — has been underemphasized or altogether forgotten — with serious consequences to children, schools, and communities. The divisions 
that have polarized the debate, and kept SEL on the periphery of education reform, must end to ensure students cultivate the full suite of skills 
they need to be successful in school, work, and life. 

The research overwhelmingly shows the linkages among SEL, student outcomes, and school performance. Now, for the first time, we have strong 
evidence that those on the front lines of American education — our nation’s teachers — embrace SEL in their classrooms, for all students, as 
well as endorse a more systemic approach to the use of SEL. Many teachers have been taking this approach organically, and many understand 
that SEL promotes young people’s academic success, engagement, good behavior, cooperation with others, problem-solving abilities, health, 
and well being, while also preventing a variety of problems such as truancy, alcohol and drug use, bullying, and violence. In recent years, we 
have seen many promising signs of progress. Schools and districts are increasingly prioritizing SEL, including through the Collaborative for 
Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning’s Collaborating Districts Initiative. Some states, such as Illinois and Kansas, have implemented free- 
standing social and emotional student learning standards, while others have emphasized the teaching of social and emotional skills across 
academic subject areas. 

Although we have powerful evidence that SEL is gaining momentum across the country, we have more to do. We have seen the country address, 
only in fits and starts, various aspects of SEL, such as school climate, character education, or bullying prevention. Although valuable, too often 
these programs are ad hoc or add-ons in schools, in response to a tragic event or because of someone’s passion for the issue. Rather than this 
reactionary approach, we can take specific and thoughtful steps to help teachers do the work they themselves have identified as important — 
to cultivate their students’ social and emotional competencies. If we chose to act, together we can help teachers become even better teachers 
and students reach their fullest potential. 

SEL should be embedded throughout the curriculum, pedagogy, and the culture of a school and emphasized in district and state educational 
goals. We must support teachers in their good work to cultivate the whole child by making sensible policies, promoting proven practices, and 
providing tools and resources to boost this critical piece of education. In schools across America, SEL should become an integrated piece of the 
prekindergarten through twelfth grade education experience, considered as essential to education as reading, writing, and arithmetic. 

Students growing up today face a more complex, economically challenging, and globally connected world. America has always given priority 
to unleashing the talents of its citizens to help our communities, country, and world. It is time for our country to move past false choices and 
ensure SEL is a core aspect of every child’s education. By doing so, we can support teachers in their critical work that helps children thrive not 
just as students, but also as leaders, dreamers, entrepreneurs, and citizens. 



Jennifer Buffett, CASEL Board of Directors Timothy Shriver, CASEL Board of Directors, Chair 

NoVo Foundation, President and Co-Chair Special Olympics, Chairman and CEO 


A National Teacher Survey on How Social and Emotional Learning Can Empower Children and Transform Schools 



EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 


The central message of this report is that teachers across America understand that social and emotional 
learning (SEL) is critical to student success in school, work, and life. Social and emotional learning 
involves the processes of developing competencies, including self-awareness, self-management, 
social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making. Educators know these skills are 
teachable; want schools to give far more priority to integrating such development into the curriculum, 
instruction, and school culture; and believe state student learning standards should reflect this priority. 
Teachers also want such development to be available for all students. 

These and other findings are the result of a nationally representative survey of prekindergarten through 
twelfth grade teachers to assess the role and value of social and emotional learning in America’s 
schools. The voices of teachers on SEL are more important than ever, when expectations for classroom 
effectiveness are higher, the U.S. educational advantage worldwide is slipping, and a skills gap is 
threatening American economic growth. 


SURVEY FINDINGS 


The survey’s findings have three major 
themes: (1) Teachers Understand, 

Value, and Endorse Social and Emotional 
Learning for All Students; (2) Teachers 
Believe Social and Emotional Learning 
Helps Students Achieve in School and 
Life ; and (3) Teachers Identify Key 
Accelerators for Social and Emotional 
Learning. Throughout this report, we 
share the perspectives of teachers and 
what research tells us about various 


aspects of social and emotional learning, 
including the importance of both 
adopting explicit evidence-based SEL 
strategies and integrating evidence- 
based SEL approaches. These findings 
are also supported by discussions with 
students, case studies of successful 
schools, and conversations with thought 
leaders. As a result of these insights, the 
Paths Forward section of the report offers 
recommendations on how to advance 


the strategic and systemic use of SEL in 
schools to promote student success as 
learners, workers, and citizens. 


(1) Teachers Understand, 
Value, and Endorse 
Social and Emotional 
Learning for All Students 


Teachers recognize the benefit and need 
to incorporate SEL into the student learning 
experience — for all students, from all 
backgrounds. Furthermore, teachers have 
a clear understanding of what SEL is and 
they believe it is teachable. 

Teachers Understand, Value, 
and Endorse SEL 

Teachers define SEL as: “the ability 
to interact or get along with others;” 
“teamwork or cooperative learning;" 

“life skills or preparing for the real 
world;” and “self-control or managing 
one’s behaviors." When the survey then 


DEFINING OUR TERMS: WHAT IS SEL? 

Social and emotional learning (SEL) involves the processes through which adults and children develop 
social and emotional competencies in five areas: 

O Self-awareness, like knowing your strengths and limitations 
O Self-management, like being able to stay in control and persevere through challenges 
O Social awareness, like understanding and empathizing with others 
O Relationship skills, like being able to work in teams and resolve conflicts 
O Responsible decision-making, like making ethical and safe choices 
(For more information, see page 16.) 





offers the Collaborative for Academic, 
Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL)’s 
definition of SEL (see sidebar), nearly 
all teachers (93 percent) believe SEL is 
very or fairly important for the in-school 
student experience. 

Teachers Endorse SEL for All 
Students 

Teacher endorsement of SEL holds true 
across education levels and school types. 
Nearly all teachers (95 percent) believe 
social and emotional skills are teachable 
and report that SEL will benefit students 
from all backgrounds, rich or poor (97 
percent). Research shows that among 
students from grades five through twelve, 
positive emotions such as hope, well- 
being, and engagement account for 
31 percent of the variance in student’s 
academic success (hope is 13 percent, 
engagement 10 percent, and well-being 
8 percent). 1 

• Only a small minority believe it is 
definitely true that SEL should not 
be taught in schools (19 percent) or 


think it should only be taught in high- 
poverty schools (18 percent definitely/ 
probably true). 

Teachers Report SEL Should 
Be Given Greater Emphasis in 
Schools 

Nearly all teachers (88 percent) report 
SEL occurs in their schools on some 
level, although less than half (44 percent) 
of teachers say social and emotional 
skills are being taught on a schoolwide, 
programmatic basis. Research suggests 
that a strong, evidence-based SEL 
program can help reduce student 
absenteeism and improve student 
interest — both strong indicators of a 
student being on track to graduate. 2 

Teachers See the Importance 
and Benefits of SEL 

Research finds that SEL programs 
are frequently associated with positive 
student outcomes such as an increase 
in pro-social behaviors and improved 
academic performance. 3 More than three- 


quarters of the teachers believe a larger 
focus on SEL will be a major benefit to 
students because of the positive effect on 
workforce readiness (87 percent), school 
attendance and graduation (80 percent), 
life success (87 percent), college 
preparation (78 percent), and academic 
success (75 percent). 


(2) Teachers Believe Social 
and Emotional Learning 
Helps Students Achieve 
in School, Work, and Life 


SEL ADDRESSES THE NATIONAL 
CHALLENGE THAT AMERICA’S 
EDUCATIONAL ADVANTAGE IS 
SLIPPING 

Recent international findings illustrate 
that America’s advantage of a highly 
educated labor force is shrinking as more 
countries reach and surpass America’s 
education levels. This, however, is a 
solvable problem, and SEL is a key 
part of the solution. Research shows 
that students receiving high-quality 



A National Teacher Survey on How Social and Emotional Learning Can Empower Children and Transform Schools 5 




SEL demonstrate better academic 
performance, motivation to learn, 
school behavior, and attendance — and 
teachers agree. For example, studies 
find that engaging young children living 
in poverty in high-quality preschool 
programs that incorporate SEL themes 
positively contributes to their school 
success, social development, crime 
prevention, and economic performance. 

SEL Boosts Academic 
Performance 

A majority of teachers report that SEL can 
help move the needle on key academic 
factors. Eight in ten teachers think SEL 
will have a major benefit on students' 
ability to stay on track and graduate and 
will increase standardized test scores 
and overall academic performance (77 
percent). Three-quarters (75 percent) 
believe SEL will improve student academic 
achievement. Research supports 
teachers’ views in this regard. A 2011 
meta-analysis found that students who 
receive SEL instruction have academic 
achievement scores an average of 11 
percentile points higher than students 
who did not participate in SEL programs. 4 

• Schools where SEL is taught 
schoolwide are more likely to 
report their school is successful at 
developing key content knowledge (85 
percent) compared to schools where 
SEL is ad hoc (72 percent) or not 
happening at all (63 percent). 


SEL Increases Student Interest 
in Learning 

Nearly seven in ten teachers (69 percent) 
report student lack of interest as at least 
somewhat of a problem in schools and 
among these teachers who see students’ 
lack of interest as at least somewhat of 
a problem, three-quarters (73 percent) 
report SEL is very important. Nearly eight 
in ten of all teachers (77 percent) say 
SEL will improve academic performance. 
Research corroborates teachers’ views: A 
recent meta-analysis found that students 
who received explicit SEL skills instruction 
with evidence-based SEL programs 
demonstrated improved attitudes and 
behaviors, including a greater motivation 
to learn, improved relationships with 
peers, and a deeper connection to their 
school. 5 

• A correlation was found between 
lack of student interest and schools 
with less of a schoolwide emphasis 
on SEL. Only 61 percent of teachers 
who report SEL is implemented on a 
programmatic basis schoolwide also 
report lack of interest in learning as 
a problem, compared to 74 percent 
of teachers in schools where SEL is 
only taught by some teachers and 77 
percent of teachers in schools where 
SEL is not taught. 

SEL Improves Student Behavior 

More than half (57 percent) of teachers 
believe poor student behavior is at least 
somewhat of a problem. Majorities 


of these teachers believe SEL is a 
solution. Of the teachers who list poor 
student behavior as at least somewhat 
of a problem, three in four (78 percent) 
say SEL is very important and 79 
percent think it will improve student 
performance. Students in SEL programs 
enjoy, on average, a 9-10 percentage 
point improvement in positive attitude, 
addressing conduct problems and 
reducing emotional distress, compared 
to students not participating in SEL 
programs. 6 

• Poor student behavior is a bigger 
problem in schools with limited 
focus on SEL. Teachers who work in 
schools that they report place too 
little emphasis on SEL are more likely 
to say that poor student behavior 

is at least somewhat of a problem 
compared to teachers at schools 
that place the right amount or more 
emphasis (68 versus 53 percent). 

SEL Prevents and Reduces 
Bullying 

Nearly half of teachers (42 percent) 
list bullying as at least somewhat of 
a problem, and three in four of these 
teachers (75 percent) think SEL is very 
important. Research supports this finding. 
Various SEL programs have been found 
to decrease by half the annual number of 
student fights, decrease violent behaviors 
by 19 percentage points, and reduce 
classroom hostility. 7 

• There is a correlation between higher 
rates of bullying and schools with 
limited SEL focus. More than half of 
teachers (54 percent) who say there 
is too little emphasis on SEL also 
say bullying is at least somewhat 

of a problem, compared to only 37 
percent of teachers in schools with 
the right amount of emphasis on SEL. 
On the other hand, only 26 percent 
of teachers in schools successful 



6 The Missing Piece 



at developing SEL say bullying is a 
problem. 

SEL Improves School Climate 

The survey finds that of the teachers 
who view negative school climate as 
a problem, 80 percent view SEL as a 
solution. Teachers in schools that report 
successful SEL programs are half as 
likely to say their school has a negative 
school climate compared to teachers in 
schools without successful SEL programs 
(21 percent versus 44 percent). Fifteen 
years of school reform research supports 
teachers’ opinions on SEL and school 
climate. Studies identified five essential 
supports for effective school change — 
one of which is a learning climate that 
is safe, welcoming, stimulating, and 
nurturing to all students. In a recent small 
sample study, 25 percent of the studied 
SEL programs were directed at making a 
change in school culture and climate. 8 



• Teachers in schools where social and 
emotional skills are not taught are 
nearly twice as likely to report school 
climate as a problem as teachers 
in schools where it is taught on a 
systemic basis (43 versus 28 percent). 

SEL ADDRESSES THE NATIONAL 
CHALLENGE THAT MANY GRADUATES 
DO NOT HAVE THE SKILLS TO BE 
SUCCESSFUL 

Across multiple measures of education, 
the American advantage of a highly 
educated labor force is quickly eroding 
and America has a skills gap. These 
trends start early in the educational 
pipeline and persist. For example, college 
attainment rates in the U.S. are growing 
at a below-average rate compared 
to other peer nations, and there are 
approximately three million jobs for which 
the U.S. is not training qualified workers. 9 
Only 78.2 percent of American students 
graduate from high school on time, 10 and 
fewer than 40 percent of 25-34-year- 



olds have some postsecondary degree. 11 
Most jobs today and in the future require 
not only a high school diploma, but also 
some college. 12 SEL is part of the solution 
to address these challenges — and 
teachers agree. 

Teachers Believe Social and 
Emotional Skills Will Help 
Prepare Students for the Real 
World 

Research supports this finding. On 
average, students participating in SEL 
programs have better social skills than 76 
percent of comparison-group students 
and have an average 23 percentage point 
gain in social-emotional skills relative 
to students not participating in SEL 
programs. 13 

• A majority of teachers believe SEL 
will be a major benefit in preparing 
students for the workforce (87 
percent). Nearly eight in ten teachers 
believe a larger focus on SEL will have 


A National Teacher Survey on How Social and Emotional Learning Can Empower Children and Transform Schools 7 




a major benefit on students’ ability to 
stay on track to graduate (80 percent), 
prepare for college (78 percent), and 
become good citizens (87 percent). 

• A majority of teachers (86 percent) 
believe teaching skills to apply to real- 
world situations should have a great 
deal of emphasis in schools. When 
surveyed, more than 80 percent of 
dropouts said their chances of staying 
in school would have increased if 
classes were more interesting and 
provided opportunities for real-world 
learning. 14 


(3) Teachers Identify Key 
Accelerators for Social 
and Emotional Learning 


SEL provides an opportunity for a 
powerful, student-centric approach 
to education that puts the social and 
emotional development of the child at 
the heart of every classroom, school, and 
district nationwide. SEL helps teachers 
become more effective by fostering their 
own social and emotional development 
and supporting a caring and challenging 
classroom climate. SEL programs are 
gaining in popularity and are increasingly 
being integrated into school curricula. 

In the survey, teachers identified key 
means to accelerate the use of SEL in 
classrooms, schools, and communities. 

Schoolwide Programming 
Could Support Teacher Interest 
in SEL Implementation 

Teachers report that while SEL is 
occurring organically, there is a 
disconnection between the demand for 
SEL that teachers report and schoolwide 
programming available to students. SEL 
programming decreases as students 
advance through the grades: only 28 
percent of high school teachers say it 
is occurring schoolwide, compared to 


43 percent of middle school teachers 
and 49 percent of prekindergarten 
and elementary school teachers. 

Only 39 percent of teachers in high- 
poverty schools report schoolwide SEL 
programming compared to 53 percent of 
teachers in low-poverty (where less than 
30 percent of the student body are on 
free or reduced-price lunch). 

• A majority of teachers (81 percent) 
rank time as the biggest challenge to 
implementing SEL, although research 
shows SEL can support increased time 
on task. Schoolwide initiatives may 
support teachers in their interest in 
implementing SEL, as resources could 
be shared and lessons reinforced. 

Embed SEL in Student Learning 
Standards 

Two in three teachers (62 percent) think 
the development of social and emotional 
skills should be explicitly stated in their 
state education standards. Research 
suggests that student learning standards 
may increase the likelihood that 
students will receive better instruction 
in SEL, experience improved school 
connectedness, and become better 
learners. 15 

• This sentiment is shared by teachers 
across grade levels and income 
levels of their students: More than 
half of teachers in prekindergarten 
and elementary school (65 percent), 
middle school (64 percent), and high 
school (55 percent) want SEL in their 
state standards. Furthermore, more 
than half of teachers in high-poverty 
(68 percent) and low-poverty (59 
percent) schools want SEL in their 
state standards. 

Improve and Increase 
Professional Development 
for SEL 

The survey finds that SEL training is 
lacking in most schools. Four in five 


teachers (82 percent) report interest in 
receiving further training on SEL, with 
61 percent “fairly” or “very” interested. 

Only half (55 percent) of teachers receive 
some form of SEL training, and of that 
23 percent is in-service. Preschool and 
elementary school teachers are the 
most likely to receive SEL training (60 
percent) while high school teachers 
are the least likely (47 percent). 
Professional development to support 
teacher knowledge, effective pedagogy, 
and practices enhances effective SEL 
implementation. 16 Research also shows 
that SEL programming is more effective 
when evidence-based programs are 
adopted and implemented with quality. 17 

Engage Parents and Families 

Teachers surveyed report that “students 
not learning social and emotional skills 
at home” was among the top reasons 
to teach SEL in school, and therefore 
a potential area for growth. Eight in 
ten teachers (81 percent) say a lack 
of skills reinforcement at home is a 
big challenge for their school trying 
to implement SEL, and more than half 
of teachers (66 percent) list it as the 
biggest challenge. A similar majority (80 
percent) who view SEL as very important 
and think it definitely improves student 
academic performance (80 percent) say 
lack of reinforcement at home is a big 
challenge. Research finds that children 
whose parents are more involved in their 
education, regardless of their family 
income or background, are more likely to 
earn higher grades and test scores, enroll 
in higher-level classes, attend school 
and pass their classes, develop better 
social skills, graduate from high school, 
attend college, find productive work, and 
become more caring individuals and 
productive citizens. 18 


8 The Missing Piece 




PATHS FORWARD 


As a nation, we have the opportunity 
to change the lives of millions of 
American youth with the use of a very 
powerful strategy: social and emotional 
learning. SEL provides students with 
the fundamental skills to achieve in 
school and succeed in life. Research 
consistently shows the benefits of SEL, 
and in many schools teachers are 
incorporating transformative strategies 
into their curricula. We now have 
powerful evidence that teachers across 
the country endorse and advocate for an 
increased emphasis on these key tools. 
We also have models of effective policies 
and practices that could be replicated 
across the country, to better support 
teachers in this important work. 

Although SEL is starting to be 
incorporated in federal policies and 
initiatives, such as the Race to the 
Top District requests for proposals and 
the Academic, Social, and Emotional 
Learning Act of 2013, it has not been 
sufficiently prioritized. Federal, state, 
and local education policy is not yet 
aligned with the rich insights of the SEL 
field, and there is a gap in the public’s 
understanding of what SEL means; why 
it is important for education and life; 
and what parents, citizens, and young 
people can do to become effective SEL 
advocates and role models. In order to 
maximize its benefits, key polices and 
strategies must be pursued that promote, 
strengthen, and sustain social and 
emotional learning initiatives across the 
country. The following recommendations 
were guided by the opinions of more 
than 600 teachers in the nationally 
representative survey and informed by 
a variety of leading social and emotional 
learning organizations and education- 
focused research groups. 19 


Promote Social and 
Emotional Learning in 
Classrooms, Schools, and 
Communities 


Link SEL to Schoolwide 
Activities and Other School 
Services 

Teachers can incorporate social and 
emotional skills into all school topics 
across all grades. For example, they 
can use goal-setting instructions and 
focus on problem-solving strategies and 
the decision-making process. Across 
the school, educators can stress the 
importance of access and opportunities to 
learn and practice SEL in the classroom 
as well as at home and in the community. 

Conduct Resource and Needs 
Assessments in Schools 

For SEL to be a success systemically, 
the school and the community must 
determine the resources, needs, and 
readiness of the school and identify SEL 
best practices and measures that fit 
their school. This can be accomplished 
through resource and needs assessments 
that build on evidence-based SEL 


programming that is already being 
implemented and appropriately 
addresses the needs identified by 
students, parents, and school staff. 

Ensure Effective Coordination 
with Out-of-School Partners 

Family involvement facilitates a child’s 
academic, social, and emotional 
learning and functioning. A successful 
school-family partnership (SFP) must 
be based on the idea that all families 
can contribute to a child’s learning 
and development, and parents as well 
as teachers share the responsibility. 
Likewise, community-school partnerships 
can help to better facilitate a child’s 
progress through school. To facilitate the 
creation of student-family-community 
partnerships, schools must create an 
SEL or SFP coordinator to serve as a 
liaison with families and community 
partners. Teachers should also share 
SEL strategies, tools, and resources 
with parents to help with at-home 
reinforcement. 



A National Teacher Survey on How Social and Emotional Learning Can Empower Children and Transform Schools 9 





Provide and Fund Integrated 
Professional Development to 
Educators 

Educators should be provided high- 
quality professional development on 
teaching social and emotional skills 
during both pre-service and in- 
service (professional development) 
training. Professional development for 
teachers, principals, and professional 
and paraprofessional staff should 
focus on teaching explicit core social 
and emotional skills, embedding SEL 
in regular instruction, and creating 
opportunities for students to apply social 
and emotional skills throughout the day. 

Tie SEL to Classroom, School, 
and District Goals 

School, district, and state education 
leaders should work to align systems of 
reporting and accountability to clearly 
defined goals. Modifying report cards to 
reflect SEL goals and focusing on data 
collection and review to create tailored 
and adjustable SEL action plans can 
accomplish this. District support and 
leadership for SEL is critical and will 
determine the extent to which teachers 
and other school leaders can plan and 
proceed. 


Create State Student Learning 
Standards and Connect with 
Common Core State Standards 

Standards can provide clear 
expectations of what students should 
know and be able to do. State 
legislators should connect social and 
emotional development in existing state 
education standards and/or create 
stand-alone prekindergarten through 
twelfth grade social and emotional 
standards. Connecting social and 
emotional standards to common core 
standards and assessments will further 
incentivize schools, districts, and states 
to incorporate SEL into their education 
policies and practices. 

Ensure Sustainable Funding 

Public and philanthropic investments, 
including Title II of the Elementary and 
Secondary Education Act (ESEA), should 
identify SEL professional development 
and program implementation as funding 
priorities and provide funding preferences 
in competitive grants to reward states, 
districts, and schools with a clear SEL plan. 

Support Federal Policies that 
Promote SEL 

The Academic, Social, and Emotional 
Learning Act of 2013 will expand the 


availability of programs that teach 
students skills such as problem- 
solving, conflict resolution, responsible 
decision-making, relationship building, 
goal-setting, and self-discipline. This 
bipartisan model legislation supporting 
students’ development through 
academic, social, and emotional learning 
has been introduced in Congress and 
should be passed, or its language 
incorporated into other key pieces of 
legislation, like ESEA. 20 

Advance a Robust Research 
Agenda 

A robust pool of research is required 
that practitioners and policymakers alike 
can draw from and learn. The Institute 
of Education Sciences can prioritize 
research on districtwide, schoolwide, 
and classroom programs to enhance 
academic, social, and emotional learning 
and its effects on key issues, such as 
school climate, bullying, student well- 
being, and academic performance. 
Research on the impact of schoolwide 
SEL programming versus classroom 
programming and explicit SEL skills 
instruction versus intentional pedagogical 
integration would fill important research 
gaps. Furthermore, states or districts 
with comprehensive SEL student learning 
standards should be studied. It is also 
critical to develop SEL assessment 
tools that educators can use to 
measure students’ social and emotional 
competence. 


Strengthen Social and Sustain Social and Emotional 

Emotional Learning by Learning through High- 

Investing in Educators Impact Levers 


The lack of urgency around SEL implementation in schools threatens the future success of America’s 
children. SEL is a proven strategy that is endorsed by teachers across the country. Yet too few schools 
and far fewer school systems are adopting explicit evidence-based SEL strategies or integrating 
evidence-based SEL approaches — both of which are needed. SEL has been underutilized for too 
long. Our lack of action inhibits students across the country from fully realizing their potential as 
knowledgeable, responsible, caring, and contributing individuals. The time has passed to debate whether 
schools should make SEL a central focus. Now we must act to ensure our students and teachers are 
equipped with the knowledge and skills they need to be successful in school, work, and life. 


10 The Missing Piece 




INTRODUCTION 


America risks a generation of talent, needlessly lost. Our nation aspires to live up to its dream of equal 
opportunity for all as we educate our children to be knowledgeable, responsible, caring, and contributing 
individuals. We want them to be poised for a lifetime of opportunity and success in a rapidly changing 
economy and world. 


But today in America, more than one 
million school-aged children do not 
graduate from high school with their 
peers, 21 with huge consequences to them, 
society, and our economy. 22 Even among 
high school graduates, too few enroll 
in and complete college. 23 Ironically, 
America has a widening skills gap and 
3.6 million available jobs right at a time of 
high unemployment, 24 particularly among 
youth. Tragically, these educational trends 
result in nearly seven million youth (ages 
16-24) disconnecting from school or 
work, leaving many of them unable to 
support themselves, raise families, and 
give back to their communities. 25 Such 
disconnection also costs taxpayers $93 
billion per year and $1.6 trillion over the 
lifetimes of these youth. 26 

This does not have to be America’s 
story. In communities across the United 
States, students are facing ever-higher 
standards in schools, more complex 
environments with the breakdown of 
families and neighborhoods, and an 
economy that requires a broader range 


of skills. Many of the skills that enable 
students to navigate successfully — such 
as self-awareness and -management, grit 
and determination, empathy and conflict 
resolution, discipline and industriousness, 
and application of knowledge and skills 
to real-world situations — are not being 
systemically integrated into American 
schools. These are the very life skills and 
experiences that dropouts themselves 
say would have kept them in school 
and on track, 27 as social and emotional 
learning (SEL) provides students with 
the fundamental skills to achieve in 
school and succeed in life. These are 
also the skills that teach all of us how to 
handle our relationships, our careers, 
and ourselves in an effective and fulfilling 
manner, enabling success not just in 
school, but in work and civic life. 

There is powerful evidence that SEL, 
if scaled, could dramatically improve 
student achievement in schools and a 
lifetime of outcomes for children that 
would strengthen education, the economy, 
and our communities. (See page 16 for 


more information on the definition of SEL.) 

A robust body of research shows that 
adopting explicit evidence-based SEL 
strategies and integrating evidence-based 
SEL instructional approaches are linked 
to a variety of positive outcomes for 
children, ranging from improved attitudes 
and behaviors to better academic 
performance. A number of studies have 
shown that students who receive SEL 
have achievement scores an average of 
11 percentile points higher than students 
who do not. 28 There are also powerful 
examples of schools, districts, and states 
intentionally prioritizing SEL in programs 
and policies, including the eight school 
districts engaging in the Collaborative 
for Academic, Social, and Emotional 
Learning (CASEL)’s Collaborating 
District Initiative. 29 This report features 
case studies on Austin, TX; Cleveland, 
OH; Montgomery County, MD; and 
DuPage County, IL, as well as the Illinois 
State Standards, as examples of these 
successes and as a challenge that others 
can lead in this important work, too. 

In addition to this compelling evidence, 
now — for the first time ever — we have 
evidence that teachers across the nation 
— those closest to the development 
of children — readily endorse this 
approach. In November and December 
2012, more than 600 educators, 
from prekindergarten, elementary, 
middle, and high schools across the 
country, demonstrated that they have 
a common vision for schools, which 


DEFINING OUR TERMS: WHAT IS SEL? 

Social and emotional learning (SEL) involves the processes through which adults and children develop 
social and emotional competencies in five areas: 

O Self-awareness, like knowing your strengths O Relationship skills, like being able to work in 

and limitations teams and resolve conflicts 

O Self-management, like being able to stay in O Responsible decision-making, like making 

control and persevere through challenges ethical and safe choices 

O Social awareness, like understanding and (For more information, see page 16.) 
empathizing with others 


A National Teacher Survey on How Social and Emotional Learning Can Empower Children and Transform Schools 1 1 




embraces the importance and efficacy of 
fostering SEL in schools. This nationally 
representative sample of teachers 
endorse a transformative strategy to make 
social and emotional development an 
integral part of every child’s educational 
experience — so that all children 
develop the competencies they need 
to succeed in school and in life. By 
making SEL central to every child’s 
education, teachers — along with school 
counselors, principals, administrators, 
families, and community partners — can 
help youth develop the self-awareness 
and self-management they need to be 
successful, the compassion and attitudes 
they need to care about others, and 
the skills they need to be productive 
workers and responsible citizens. The 
health and vitality of our communities, 
the effectiveness of our schools, and the 
demands of our economy require that we 
develop these essential life skills in our 
nation’s children. 

We are at a critical juncture in American 
education. Now, more than ever, we know 
what students need to succeed, but in 
schools across the country, we are often 
failing to provide these critical resources. 


SEL is a key component of a child’s 
growth into a productive worker and 
citizen — and has been shown to help 
children be better students and citizens 
at the prekindergarten, elementary, 
middle and high school levels; at 
urban, suburban and rural schools; 30 
and with students from diverse socio- 
economic and cultural backgrounds. 31 
Despite this evidence, SEL is often not 
taught or intentionally integrated into 
the curriculum, is ad hoc, or is absent 
entirely. 

For too long, SEL has been the missing 
piece in the educational puzzle. As a result, 
many students are developing only some 
of the skills they need to succeed. In order 
to learn more about the potential demand 
for SEL in schools and what prevents SEL 
from reaching more of America’s students, 
CASEL, in partnership with Civic Enterprises 
and Peter D. Hart Research Associates, 
conducted qualitative and quantitative 
research in fall 2012. As a result, we now 
know that American teachers strongly share 
the belief that the development of social 
and emotional skills is a critical means of 
ensuring all students graduate high school 
ready for college, career, and life. 


This report, The Missing Piece, outlines 
findings from a national survey of teachers 
along three major themes: (1) Teachers 
Understand, Value, and Endorse Social 
and Emotional Learning for All Students, 
which shares the views of teachers on the 
benefits and use of SEL in schools; (2) 
Teachers Believe Social and Emotional 
Learning Helps Students Achieve in 
School and Life, which identifies the key 
goals SEL advances and the challenges 
SEL helps to overcome; and (3) Teachers 
Identify Key Accelerators for Social 
and Emotional Learning, which shares 
teacher-identified levers to advance SEL 
in schools. Then, Paths Forward provides 
recommendations for how communities, 
schools, districts, states, and the nation 
can advance the strategic and systemic 
use of SEL in schools to promote student 
success as scholars and citizens. 

Appendix 1 provides additional information 
on the survey methodology. Appendix 2 
provides additional information on CASEL, 
as well as its resources for supporting SEL 
in families, schools, and districts. 


12 The Missing Piece 



SURVEY OVERVIEW 


Children have nearly limitless potential — and their teachers are an extremely important in-school factor 
linked to their success . 32 Teachers teach their students the knowledge and skills required for academic 
achievement. They plan lessons, comment on homework, grade tests, and facilitate in-school learning 
environments. In addition to these core duties, teachers also have the potential to inspire their students, 
to teach them how to dream, thrive, and succeed — even (or especially) after failure. Teachers help 
students navigate their way through schools and school relationships. They encourage them to try a math 
problem a second time; to problem solve with their peers; and to build relationships on the schoolyard, 
the neighborhood block, and the front stoop. Later, these same children will grow to be adults, applying 
these lessons learned to growing and succeeding in their careers, families, and communities. 


Over the past year, in conversations with 
teachers and students, principals and 
policymakers, we learned that these 
aspects of learning — the social and 
emotional — are key determinants in 
students’ ability to grow as students 
as well as citizens. We learned that 
educators identify SEL as a key tool, 
although it is often described in varied 
terms. In some districts we found 
that SEL implementation began with 
the teachers and was driven by their 
steadfast convictions that positive SEL is 
inseparable from student achievement 
in and out of school. In others, it was 
determined to be a priority by principals 
or superintendents, with strong family 
support. 


In the words of Bob Wise, President of 
the Alliance for Excellent Education and 
former governor of West Virginia, “Some 
students finish high school. Some don’t. 
When you look back in the rearview 
mirror, you can almost always see SEL as 
a determining factor of their success.” 
Through the process of developing 
this report, we learned that in many 
cases, teachers — along with school 
counselors, principals, administrators, 
families, and community partners — are 
supporting social and emotional skill 
development in their classrooms, schools, 
and communities. These educators also 
identified SEL as the critical piece that 
was missing in helping their students 
develop as scholars and citizens. 


“Too often, SEL is episodic. 
Some students finish high 
schools. Some don’t. When 
you look back in the rearview 
mirror, you can almost always 
see SEL as a determining 
factor of their success.” 

— Bob Wise, President of the 
Alliance for Excellent Education and 
Governor of West Virginia (2001-05) 


A National Teacher Survey on How Social and Emotional Learning Can Empower Children and Transform Schools 13 




SURVEY FINDINGS 1 


TEACHERS UNDERSTAND, VALUE, AND 
ENDORSE SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL 
LEARNING FOR ALL STUDENTS 


Teachers recognize the benefit and need to incorporate social and emotional learning (SEL) into the 
student learning experience — for all students, from all backgrounds. Furthermore, teachers have a 
clear understanding of what SEL is and they believe it is in fact teachable. In discussions with teachers 
and administrators across the country, they explained that SEL transformed classrooms, schools, and 
districts by creating environments where both students and teachers wanted to come to school, build 
relationships, and learn together. 


Teachers Endorse SEL for 
All Students 


SEL is the process by which children 
develop intrapersonal and interpersonal 
skills to succeed in all aspects of life. 36 
The literature explains there is a specific 
suite of skills, attitudes, attributes, and 
dispositions that help children make 
positive decisions related to academics, 
personal decisions, and scenarios 
related to work. 37 These skills enable 
children to navigate challenges they will 
face over their lives and guide them to 


successful outcomes that are beneficial 
to themselves and society at large. 38 

A considerable amount of SEL-related 
research spans several disciplines, 
including developmental psychology, 
neurobiology, sociology, education reform 
disengaged youth, and philosophy. 

CASEL provides a comprehensive and 
research-based definition of SEL (see 
sidebar on page 16), yet the field lacks 
consensus on terminology. For example, 
“character education,” 39 “21st century 
skills,” “character strength building,” 40 
“soft skills,” “non-cognitive skills 


development,” 41 “conscious discipline,” 42 
and “psychosocial intervention” 43 are 
several of the terms associated (and 
sometimes conflated) with SEL. In a study 
conducted by KSA-Plus Communications 
for CASEL, interviewees from the private 
and public sectors all agreed on the 
importance of SEL — but used their own 
varied language to define it. 44 

Our nationally representative sample 
of teachers confirms this reality — SEL 
as a concept is understood, although 
the terminology can vary. The survey 
also found that teachers’ personal 


FIGURE 1 


development 


When thinking about the definition of SEL (see page 1 6). . . how important is it for schools to promote 
of these social and emotional skills as part of students’ in-school experience? 


Very/fairly important 


Somewhat important 


Very important 

76% 



Fairly 

important 

17% 


93 % 


14 The Missing Piece 










FIGURE 2 



When provided with CASEL’s definition of SEL, teachers overwhelmingly believe it should be an 
important part of students’ in-school experience. 


Teachers see social and emotional skills as most relevant for elementary schools. Still, majorities believe it should be a big 
priority through high school. They said teaching social and emotional skills should be a big priority at this level: 


In preschool 


In elementary school 


In middle school 


In high school 



understanding of SEL lines up closely 
with CASEL’s definition (for full definition, 
see page 16), indicating that teachers 
endorse this definition. Teachers define 
SEL as the ability to interact or get along 
with others, teamwork or cooperative 
learning, life skills or preparing for the 
real world, and self-control or managing 
one’s behaviors. Further, when prompted 
with the CASEL definition, SEL is strongly 
endorsed. Nearly all teachers (93 
percent, including 76 percent who cited 


it as very important) believe SEL should 
be an important part of the in-school 
experience (Figure 1). 

This endorsement of SEL holds true 
across education levels and school types 
(Figure 2). Only a minority of teachers 
(19 percent) thinks SEL should not be 
taught in schools. A full 95 percent of 
teachers believe social and emotional 
skills are teachable (including 97 percent 
of prekindergarten and elementary school 


teachers). A majority of prekindergarten 
and elementary school teachers (86 
percent), middle school teachers (72 
percent), high school teachers (58 
percent), teachers from schools with 
high rates of poverty (76 percent), and 
teachers from schools with low rates of 
poverty (74 percent) report that SEL is 
an important part of students’ in-school 
experience. Furthermore, nearly every 
teacher surveyed (97 percent) say 
that SEL will benefit students from all 



A full 95 percent of teachers 
believe social and emotional 
skills are teachable (including 
97 percent of preschool and 
elementary school teachers). 


A National Teacher Survey on How Social and Emotional Learning Can Empower Children and Transform Schools 1 5 





SURVEY FINDINGS 1 


WHAT IS SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL LEARNING? 


Social and emotional learning (SEL) involves the processes through which 
children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and 
skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive 
goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive 
relationships, and make responsible decisions. 33 SEL programming is based on 
the understanding that the best learning emerges in the context of supportive 
relationships that make learning challenging, engaging, and meaningful. Social 
and emotional skills are critical to being a good student, citizen, and worker; and 
many different risky behaviors (e.g., drug use, violence, bullying, and dropping 
out) can be prevented or reduced when multiyear, integrated efforts are used to 
develop students’ social and emotional skills. This is best done through effective 
classroom instruction; student engagement in positive activities in and out of the 
classroom; and broad parent and community involvement in program planning, 
implementation, and evaluation. 34 Effective SEL programming begins in preschool 
and continues through high school. 

CASEL has identified five interrelated sets of cognitive, affective, and behavioral 
competencies (Figure 3), which framed the survey development (for additional 
information on CASEL, please see Appendix 2). The definitions of the five 
competency clusters for students are: 

• Self-awareness: The ability to accurately recognize one’s emotions and 
thoughts and their influence on behavior. This includes accurately assessing 
one's strengths and limitations and having a well-grounded sense of 
confidence and optimism. 

• Self-management: The ability to regulate one’s emotions, thoughts, and 
behaviors effectively in different situations. This includes managing stress, 
controlling impulses, motivating oneself, and setting and working toward 
personal and academic goals. 

• Social awareness: The ability to take the perspective of and empathize 
with others from diverse backgrounds and cultures; to understand social and 
ethical norms for behavior; and to recognize family, school, and community 
resources and supports. 

• Relationship skills: The ability to establish and maintain healthy 
and rewarding relationships with diverse individuals and groups. This 



Social 

Awareness 


Social & 

Emotional 

Learning 


Responsible 

Decision-Making 



includes communicating clearly, listening actively, cooperating, resisting 
inappropriate social pressure, negotiating conflict constructively, and 
seeking and offering help when needed. 

• Responsible decision-making: The ability to make constructive and 
respectful choices about personal behavior and social interactions based 
on consideration of ethical standards, safety concerns, social norms, the 
realistic evaluation of consequences of various actions, and the well-being 
of self and others. 

The short-term goals of SEL programs are to (1) promote students’ self-awareness, 
self-management, social-awareness, relationship, and responsible decision- 
making skills; and (2) improve student attitudes and beliefs about self, others, 
and school. These, in turn, provide a foundation for better adjustment and 
academic performance as reflected in more positive social behaviors and peer 
relationships, fewer conduct problems, less emotional distress, and improved 
grades and test scores (Figure 4). 35 



Positive Social Behavior 
Fewer Conduct Problems 
Less Emotional Distress 
Academic Success 


16 The Missing Piece 







FIGURE 5 


Many teachers believe their schools place too little emphasis on developing students’ life skills, 
including their social and emotional skills. 


My school places too little 
emphasis on this goal 


Developing students’ ability to apply knowledge 
and skills to real-world situations 


Developing students’ social and emotional skills 


Developing critical thinking and reasoning 
abilities in students 

Developing students’ knowledge and skills in key 
content and subject areas 



backgrounds, rich or poor. A minority of 
teachers (18 percent) think it is important 
to teach social and emotional skills only 
in high-poverty schools. 


Teachers Say SEL Should Be 
Given Greater Emphasis 


The survey finds that nearly nine in ten 
teachers (88 percent) say SEL occurs 
in their schools, either on an individual 
teacher (ad hoc) basis or schoolwide. 
One-third of teachers (30 percent) report 
that their schools place too little emphasis 
on developing social and emotional skills 
and skills related to these competencies 
(Figure 5), including developing students’ 


ability to apply knowledge to real-world 
situations (32 percent). Teachers are 
more than four times as likely to say 
their school places too little emphasis on 
developing social and emotional skills 
(30 percent) versus developing students’ 
knowledge and skills in key content and 
subject areas (7 percent). 


Teachers See the 
Importance and Benefits 
of SEL 


In addition to endorsing SEL as an 
important component of the school 
experience, teachers also report many 
benefits of SEL to students. Randi 


Weingarten, President of the American 
Federation of Teachers, explains, 
“Teachers enter the profession to provide 
a well-rounded education and support 
the whole student, which includes social 
and emotional skills development. SEL is 
a critical part of every child’s growth, both 
as students and as contributing members 
of society.” Likewise, research finds 
that SEL programs are most frequently 
associated with positive results, increased 
pro-social behavior, and improved 
academic performance. 45 One teacher 
from Philadelphia puts it simply: “[SEL] 
needs to be taught everywhere.” 

More than three-quarters of teachers 
believe a larger focus by schools on SEL 
will have a major benefit on students in 
the crucial areas of workforce readiness 
(87 percent), school attendance and 
graduation (80 percent), life success 
(87 percent), college preparation (78 
percent), and academic success (75 
percent). Teachers also report relational 
and academic benefits. A majority of 
teachers (94 percent) say teaching social 
and emotional skills will probably or 
definitely improve relationships between 
teachers and students and reduce bullying 
(93 percent). More than three-quarters 


“Teachers enter the profession to provide a well-rounded education 
and support the whole student, which includes social and emotional 
skills development. SEL is a critical part of every child’s growth, both 
as students and as contributing members of society. Teachers have 
shared with us how important this is — now it’s up to all of us to 
support them in this essential work.” 

— Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers 


A National Teacher Survey on How Social and Emotional Learning Can Empower Children and Transform Schools 17 











SURVEY FINDINGS 1 


FIGURE 6 


The relational benefits to teaching social and emotional skills are readily apparent; academic benefits 
are seen as likely. 


Teaching social and emotional skills in schools: 


Will improve relationships between 
teachers and students 


Will improve relationships among students 
and reduce bullying 


Will improve students’ academic performance, 
such as increasing standardized test scores 


|This is definitely true 


This is probably true 


This is 
not true 


1 % 

I Not sure 


2 % 


36% 

41% 

18% 

5% 


of teachers (77 percent) think social and 
emotional skills will improve students’ 
academic performance (Figure 6). 

Teachers in high-poverty schools (schools 
with 60 percent or more students in 
the free/reduced-price lunch program) 
are even more likely to endorse SEL 
than their peers in higher resourced 
communities (Figure 7). They are more 
likely to report social and emotional skills 
will improve student-teacher relationships 


(63 percent versus 44 percent), reduce 
bullying (61 percent versus 51 percent), 
and improve students’ academic 
performance (42 percent versus 27 
percent). Furthermore, only 8 percent of 
teachers believe that social and emotional 
skills should be taught to only students 
with social and emotional problems. The 
research base is beginning to explicitly 
show the positive effects of SEL for 
students in low-income communities. For 


example, students participating in social 
and emotional intervention programs 
in high-poverty urban high schools 
were found to have improved social, 
behavioral, emotional, and academic 
adjustment, including higher grade point 
averages, compared to those students 
not participating in the program. 46 Some 
national education organizations that 
serve these populations are embedding 
SEL into their programming. 47 


18 The Missing Piece 








FIGURE 7 


Teachers at high-poverty schools are especially convinced of the benefits of social and emotional 


learning. 

Teaching social and emotional skills in schools: 


Will improve relationships between 
teachers and students 


Will improve relationships among 
students and reduce bullying 


Will improve students’ academic performance, 
such as increasing standardized test scores 


l<30% low-income* 



*lncome measured by free and reduced-price lunch. 


SNAPSHOT 

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MO: SCHOOLS AND COMMUNITIES 
COLLABORATE ON SEL STRATEGIC PLAN 


“I know it will be a challenge ... but it’s important work and we are committed 
to doing it.” 48 This determined sentiment expressed by an administrator in 
the Montgomery County Public School District (MCPS) has sustained efforts to 
implement districtwide social and emotional learning. In July 2011, administrators 
began developing a strategic plan that included efforts to integrate SEL into their 
schools and academic curricula to improve school climate and academic outcomes. 
MCPS has made SEL a district priority based on the growing evidence that SEL is 
necessary, not only for interpersonal relationships and academic achievement but 
for future success in the workplace. 

MCPS serves more than 149,000 students, 33.0 percent White, 26.7 percent 
Hispanic, 21.3 percent students of color, and 14.3 percent Asian. 49 Although 
district schools range in size and demographics, MCPS wanted to involve the 
entire community in developing the SEL components of its strategic plan. In 
spring 2012, MCPS held a community forum to begin laying the groundwork. More 
than 250 community leaders attended and shared feedback. The forum included 
several small-group breakout sessions where MCPS staff, parents, and community 
members discussed how social and emotional competencies can be promoted 
in school, in the community, and at home. 50 District administrators believe 
that community buy-in is crucial to the success of their SEL initiative and have 
continued to incorporate community participation through their “network teams” 
in revising its strategic plan. The teams are made up of about 60 individuals 


including teachers, psychiatrists, parents, business leaders, and other community 
members. Teams meet every two weeks to draft the plan. Parent involvement is 
especially important in these teams as MCPS administrators hope that social and 
emotional competencies learned in schools will be reinforced at home by students’ 
families. In addition to these efforts, teachers and school administrators have 
worked hard to imbed SEL in Curriculum 2.0, a Common Core State Standards- 
aligned curriculum that focuses on developing critical and creative thinking 
skills, essential academic skills, and skills that prepare students to succeed in 
college and career. 51 Curriculum 2.0 requires students to work in teams, actively 
collaborate, and problem solve during lessons. 52 

Montgomery County hopes to have completed its strategic plan framework by June 
2013, with Curriculum 2.0 fully implemented in kindergarten through fifth grade in 
fall 2013. 53 MCPS is on track to meet this goal, although administrators admit that 
it has not always been easy. Measuring SEL has been a particular challenge, but 
the district is committed to developing an evaluation program that can accurately 
track both academic and school climate outcomes. Professional development (PD) 
has also been a challenge. Administrators want to make sure PD is targeted and 
specific and helps adults accurately recognize the level of social and emotional 
competencies in each student. Despite these challenges, MCPS is optimistic and 
excited to begin implementation. As one educator remarks, “It’s tough work but it’s 
the right work." 


A National Teacher Survey on How Social and Emotional Learning Can Empower Children and Transform Schools 1 9 




H SURVEY FINDINGS 2 


TEACHERS BELIEVE SOCIAL AND 
EMOTIONAL LEARNING HELPS STUDENTS 
ACHIEVE IN SCHOOL, WORK, AND LIFE 


The research — and the voices of teachers across the country — shows that social and emotional 
learning (SEL) can help to solve key national challenges related to our education and workforce 
readiness. SEL can help students in all schools, especially in schools with higher percentages of low- 
income students. Studies find engaging children in high-quality programs positively contributes to school 
success, social development, crime prevention, and economic performance . 54 These benefits in turn help 
schools, families, communities, employers, and our economy. 


ADDRESSING THE 
NATIONAL CHALLENGE 

AMERICAS EDUCATIONAL 
ADVANTAGE IS SLIPPING 

Across multiple measures of education, 
the American advantage of a highly 
educated labor force is quickly eroding 
as more countries reach and surpass the 
qualification levels of American students. 
These trends start early in the educational 
pipeline and persist. Among peer nations, 
the U.S. ranks in the bottom half (28th 
of 38) in the percentage of students 
enrolled in early childhood education. 56 
American 15-year-olds are average in 
reading (14th of 34) and below average 
in mathematics (25th of 34). 57 The U.S. 
ranks near the bottom in high school 
completion (22nd of 27), 7 percentage 
points below the Organisation for 


Economic Co-operation and Development 
(OECD) average. 58 The U.S. is also below 
the OECD average in the rate of students 
whose parents went to college (29 
percent), which is alarming given that 
level of parental educational attainment 
is one of the highest indicators of student 
success. 59 Although the U.S. is above the 
OECD average in college completion (42 
percent completion rate for 25-34-year- 
olds versus 30 percent), the U.S. has 
fallen from first to fourteenth in the world 
in college attainment and is far behind 
the leader, Korea (with 65 percent). 60 
More worrisome, college attainment 
rates in the U.S. are growing more slowly 
than the international average. 61 SEL can 
help address these gaps. For example, 
according to Eduardo Padron, President 
of Miami Dade College, “I could not agree 
more with the importance of embracing 
social and emotional learning at all levels 


of education, but particularly in higher 
education. We have an opportunity to 
affect not only individual lives but also the 
quality of life in our communities and our 
civic conversation.” 


SEL Can Be a Key Part of the 
Solution 


The education challenge in America 
is solvable — and SEL is a key tool to 
address it. One research study shows that 
among one million students from grades 
five to twelve, positive emotions such 
as hope, well-being, and engagement 
account for 31 percent of the variance 
in students’ academic success (hope 
is 13 percent, engagement 10 percent, 
and well-being 8 percent). 62 In a survey 
of the nation’s dropouts, many said they 
would have stayed on track to graduate 
if they had been provided social and 
emotional skills — including building 
relationships with in-school peers and 
adults, demonstrating leadership, and 
sharing their dreams for the future. 63 
A recent meta-analysis of more than 
200 rigorous studies of SEL in schools 
indicates that students receiving explicit 
SEL skills instruction with evidence- 


“I could not agree more with the importance of embracing social 
and emotional learning at all levels of education, but particularly in 
higher education. We have an opportunity to affect not only individual 
lives but also the quality of life in our communities and our civic 
conversation.” 

— Eduardo Padron, President of Miami Dade College 


20 The Missing Piece 








“The academic pieces and 
SEL have to be mutually 
reinforcing. High-quality 
teachers understand this 
intuitively — but we need 
to integrate these far better 
than we are today.” 

— Margaret Spellings, U.S. 

Secretary of Education (2005-09) 


based SEL programs demonstrated better 
academic performance (achievement 
scores an average of 11 percentile points 
higher than students who did not receive 
SEL instruction), improved attitudes 
and behaviors (greater motivation to 
learn, deeper commitment to school, 
increased time devoted to schoolwork, 
better classroom behavior, and improved 


SNAPSHOT 

THE STUDENT PERSPECTIVE 


SEL is shown to be — and endorsed as — beneficial to children from diverse 
national, cultural, and linguistic contexts, especially pertinent given changing 
American demographics . 55 Students agree: SEL has important benefits and schools 
should place greater emphasis on developing these skills. In-depth interviews 
with fifteen middle and high school students from diverse backgrounds reveal 
that students find CASEL's five social and emotional competencies valuable, 
particularly because of the social and career benefits. 


A BETTER IN-SCHOOL EXPERIENCE 


The majority of students say that teachers should spend more time helping 
students develop these skills, as SEL was not a consistent part of their schooling. 
If schools placed a great emphasis on developing students social and emotional 
skills — which they want — students would expect to do better academically and 
the school climate would be more conducive to learning. As one eighth grade girl 
says, “If students have better social and emotional skills, then they will probably 
get better grades. They would realize that school is important." 


IMPROVED RELATIONSHIPS WITH OTHERS 


When provided with definitions for CASEL's five social and emotional skills, 
students easily explained how these skills would help students to get along better 
with each other — which would in turn support success in school and work. One 
twelfth grade boy explains, “Having social and emotional skills will prevent a lot of 
stress-related incidences that happen in workplaces and it will help you enjoy your 
job. If you get mad at your job, you just don’t want to be there and it will get worse 
every day. It would help you focus on your work better and rise to a promotion.” 


LONG-TERM EDUCATIONAL BENEFITS 


Some students volunteer that social and emotional skills would help them stay in 
school by making school more enjoyable and helping them to better manage their 
frustrations. Because intrapersonal skills help develop a sense of identity and 
purpose, students believe these skills will give them the direction they need to 
succeed in college and in career. One seventh grade girl explains, “Learning about 
yourself as a person is important so that you have an idea about what you want to 
do when you are older. When you know who you are, what you want to do, and who 
you want to be, then you can know how to get there.” 


A National Teacher Survey on How Social and Emotional Learning Can Empower Children and Transform Schools 21 








SURVEY FINDINGS 2 


FIGURE 8 


somewhat of 


Social and emotional issues such as lack of motivation and poor student behavior are seen as at least 
a problem in many schools. 


How much of a problem Is this In your school ? 


Students’ lack of interest in learning 
Poor student behavior in class 
Bullying 
Negative school climate 
Poor relationships between teachers and students 


Very big Fairly big Somewhat 

I problem problem of a problem 



attendance and graduation rates), 
fewer negative behaviors (decreased 
disruptive class behavior, noncompliance, 
aggression, delinquent acts, and 
disciplinary referrals), and reduced 
emotional distress (fewer reports of 
student depression, anxiety, stress, and 
social withdrawal). 64 

These benefits of SEL are invaluable in a 
school setting where young students are 
navigating not only academic challenges 
but also the interpersonal challenges of 
adolescence. As Margaret Spellings, U.S. 
Secretary of Education (2005-09), says, 
“The academic pieces and SEL have 
to be mutually reinforcing. High-quality 


More than three in four 
teachers (77 percent) believe 
teaching SEL will increase 
standardized test scores and 
overall academic performance 
(77 percent). 


teachers understand this intuitively — 
but we need to integrate these far better 
than we are today.” Likewise, studies 
show that with specifically designed 
SEL interventions, dropout trends can 
be reversed, especially if action is taken 
at the first signs of struggle. 65 Many 
psychosocial intervention programs 
(“therapeutic SEL’’ 66 ) are used for 
children with existing behavioral issues. 
Many schools across the socioeconomic 
spectrum are also implementing 
“character growth” programs that have 
decreased the amount of conduct 
referrals and bullying incidents. 67 SEL 
programs have been shown to be 
effective at preschool, 68 elementary, 69 
middle, 70 and high school levels; 71 at 
urban, suburban, and rural schools; 
and with students from diverse socio- 
economic and cultural backgrounds. 72 

In addition to specific benefits to 
students, a summary of fifteen years 
of research on school reform reveals 
that SEL is a powerful strategy and 
lever for school improvement. 73 The 


study identifies five essential supports 
for effective school change — one of 
which is a learning climate that is safe, 
welcoming, stimulating, and nurturing 
to all students. Research shows that 
schools strong in the essential supports 
were at least ten times more likely to 
show substantial gains in both reading 
and mathematics than schools weak 
in the supports. In study after study, 

SEL programs have an immediate 
effect on outcomes, such as academic 
achievement, social behavior, and 
positive self-image. 74 A teacher from 
Chicago whose school is implementing 
evidence-based social and emotional 
programming explains, “Something ... 
that I notice [is that] all these kids have 
really positive relationships with each 
other. . . . because of what we do in the 
classroom, and so they all build these 
relationships with each other. And i think 
that’s a huge outcome of SEL.” 

Our nationally representative survey of 
teachers confirms this research. Teachers 
believe that SEL helps achieve key goals 


22 The Missing Piece 












“[SEL] would help students learn the other core subjects. It would help 
students be attentive in class, form good habits, solve problems, and 
plan ahead.” 

— Eighth grade boy 


such as boosting academic performance 
and reaching grade-level reading 
proficiency. They also report that SEL 
helps overcome key challenges they face 
in their classrooms, including student 
lack of interest, poor student behavior, 
and bullying (Figure 8). 


SEL Boosts Academic 
Performance 


According to the survey, boosting 
student academic performance is the 
key goal teachers aim to achieve with 
their students. Moving successfully 
through the school system, excelling 
at coursework, earning high marks 
on standardized tests, and staying on 
track to graduate are all benchmarks 
of a student’s academic success. 

The research consistently shows the 
academic benefits of SEL — and 
teachers’ voices echo this. Students’ 
ability to regulate emotion, attention, 
and behavior is related to academic 
achievement. 75 SEL helps students 
become more self-aware and confident 
in their learning abilities. Progress in 


social and emotional competencies also 
helps students with stress management, 
problem solving, and decision-making; 
these skills in turn have been found 
to help them get better grades. 76 More 
cognitive forms of regulation, such as 
inhibition control, are related to academic 
success, especially in young children. 77 
Schools teaching SEL on a programmatic 
basis are more likely to develop students’ 
knowledge and skills in key content 
areas, such as English, history, science, 
and math. 78 A teacher from Philadelphia 
explains, “If the students are better 
prepared, which [SEL] helps them to 
be, then they are also better prepared to 
learn the core curriculum because they’re 
getting their social needs met and their 
emotional needs met. They’re going to do 
better at school — that’s the bottom line.” 


The majority of teachers believe SEL will 
help students move successfully through 
the school system and stay on track 
to graduate (80 percent) and improve 
student achievement in academic 
coursework (75 percent). More than 
three in four teachers (77 percent) 
believe teaching SEL will increase 
standardized test scores and overall 
academic performance (77 percent). 
Some district leaders also recognize the 
strong connection between SEL and 
academic learning, explaining that SEL 
is the foundation for academic success. 
These leaders observe more students 
on task and learning, less disengaged 
and off task in schools where SEL 
implementation is a district priority. 
Student voices echo these opinions. A 
seventh grade girl says, “In a class where 
everyone respects the teacher, it is more 
peaceful and there is a more steady 



A National Teacher Survey on How Social and Emotional Learning Can Empower Children and Transform Schools 23 






H SURVEY FINDINGS 2 


environment, so you can learn better, in 
a class where the majority of people don’t 
appreciate the teacher, classes would be 
disturbed frequently and you can’t learn 
as much.” 

Further, teachers strongly believe that 
developing knowledge and skills in key 
content or subject areas should have 
a great deal of emphasis in schools — 
and that SEL is linked to that success. 

For example, teachers in schools where 
SEL is taught on a schoolwide basis are 
more likely to say their school is very 
or fairly successful at developing key 
content and subject areas (85 percent), 
compared to teachers in schools where 
SEL is taught on an ad hoc basis (72 
percent) or not at all (63 percent). A 
teacher from Chicago explains, “In order 
to get to the academics, you sometimes 
have to tackle social and emotional skills 
first, to be able to get kids to focus, to 
be able to get past all of this to get to 
instruction so that they’re learning at their 
maximum potential.” An eighth grade boy 
adds, “[SEL] would help students learn 


the other core subjects. It would help 
students be attentive in class, form good 
habits, solve problems, and plan ahead.” 


SEL Increases Student 
Interest in Learning 


Research shows that the lack of social 
and emotional skills is correlated with 
student disengagement with learning. 

By high school, 40 to 60 percent of 
students become chronically disengaged 
from school, but social and emotional 
skills development, such as a caring and 
encouraging environment or positive 
interpersonal relationships, can change 
that. 79 An eighth grade girl explains, “We 
are probably worse at thinking through 
the effects of our choices. A lot of people 
regard classes as though they don’t really 
matter because it is just eighth grade, but 
it really could affect getting into college 
and your whole future.” 

Teachers view SEL as a solution to this 
key challenge. Nearly seven in ten 


teachers (69 percent) view student 
lack of interest as at least somewhat 
of a problem in school. Among these 
teachers, 73 percent say SEL is very 
important and 78 percent report it will 
improve academic performance. The 
survey also finds a correlation between 
student interest and schools with limited 
focus on SEL. Only 61 percent of 
teachers in schools where SEL is taught 
schoolwide report lack of interest in 
learning as a problem, while 74 percent 
of teachers in schools where SEL is 
taught only by some teachers and 77 
percent of teachers in schools where SEL 
is not taught at all. 

Student lack of interest is particularly 
acute in high-poverty schools (Figure 9). 
Three in four teachers (76 percent) in 
schools with 60 percent or more students 
in the free/reduced-price lunch program 
cite lack of interest as at least somewhat 
of a problem, compared to just half (54 
percent) in schools with 30 percent or 
fewer students in the free/reduced-price 
lunch program. In a survey of dropouts, 


FIGURE 9 


Lack of interest in learning and poor student behavior are larger problems in high-poverty schools. 


This is at least somewhat of a problem in my school: 


Students’ lack of interest in learning 


Poor student behavior in class 


Bullying 


Negative school climate 


Poor relationships between teachers and students 


l<30% low-income* 



*lncome measured by free and reduced-price lunch. 


24 The Missing Piece 







nearly 70 percent report that they were 
not motivated to work hard, and two- 
thirds would have worked harder if more 
had been demanded of them. 80 While 
teachers think SEL should be available 
in all schools — not just high-poverty 
schools — SEL can play a unique role in 
engaging students in high-poverty areas. 

Research corroborates teachers’ views: 
Studies have found that students who 
receive high-quality SEL instruction, 
including students in schools with high 
rates of poverty, demonstrate improved 
attitudes and behaviors, including a 
greater motivation to learn, improved 
relationships with peers, and a deeper 
connection to their school. 81 Where the 
primary goal of a program is to improve 
social and emotional skills, the number 
of SEL lessons delivered is also related to 
fewer unexcused absences among girls. 82 
This suggests that a strong SEL program 
can help reduce student absenteeism 
and improve student interest — both 
indicators of whether a student is on or 
off track to graduate. 


SEL Improves Student 
Behavior 


Teachers list poor student behavior in 
the classroom as the second biggest 
problem in their school, after students’ 
lack of interest in learning. A Philadelphia 
elementary school teacher explains, “The 
children who can self-manage, who are 
self-aware, who hit each of these goals, 
these are the children who are more 
successful in my classroom. Last year, 

I had some children who had a very 
difficult time regulating their emotions 
and regulating their behavior. There was 
nothing cognitively wrong with them, 
but because they were not able to self- 
manage the behavior in the classroom, 
they were not at grade level, anywhere 


Students who receive SEL instruction have been found to exhibit 
reduced emotional distress, including fewer reports of depression, 
anxiety, stress, and social withdrawal. 


close to it. And once you’ve lost that 
foundation, especially in the early years, 
it’s very difficult to get that back.” 

According to the survey, more than half of 
teachers (57 percent) list poor behavior 
as at least somewhat of a problem. Of 
these teachers, three in four say SEL is 
very important (75 percent) and think 
it will improve student performance (79 
percent). Research supports teacher’s 
beliefs. School-based SEL interventions 
have been found to have indirect effects 
on reducing anxiety and depression, 
preventing aggressive and antisocial 
behavior, and promoting positive pro- 
social behavior. 83 Students who receive 
SEL instruction have been found to have 
reduced emotional distress, including 
fewer reports of depression, anxiety, 
stress, and social withdrawal. 84 

SEL increases socially appropriate 
behavior and positive peer relations, while 
decreasing destructive internalization of 
behaviors. 85 For example, one elementary 


school in Austin, TX, taught students 
several strategies for successfully 
resolving conflicts as part of the district’s 
SEL initiative. As a result, students began 
to use these strategies on their own 
during unstructured school hours such 
as recess or before or after school began. 
(Read more about this initiative on page 
36.) Students in SEL programs enjoy 
on average a 9-10 percentage point 
improvement in positive attitude, conduct 
problems, and emotional distress, 
compared to students not participating 
in SEL universal programs. 86 In a study 
on the Strong Start K-2 SEL curriculum, 
a statistically significant percentage of 
students exhibited behavior problems 
at the onset but then decreased during 
the intervention period. 87 Furthermore, 
students in the program were less likely 
to internalize behaviors than students 
outside of the program. An eighth 
grade boy explains, “Some kids are 
disrespectful ... Students may not listen 
or they may do something wrong. It ruins 



m 


*5^ f j*s!r** si w 




Research shows that levels of conflict decrease significantly in 
classrooms receiving SEL instruction, while classrooms not receiving 
SEL instruction experience an increase in conflict. 


A National Teacher Survey on How Social and Emotional Learning Can Empower Children and Transform Schools 25 








H SURVEY FINDINGS 2 



the class for everyone else there. They 
are taking away from the other kids and 
from themselves.” 

Schools with limited SEL may have more 
students with poor behavior — and 
our survey provides evidence of these 
linkages. For example, teachers who work 
in schools that they believe place too little 
emphasis on SEL also are more likely to 
say that poor student behavior is at least 
somewhat of a problem (68 percent) 
compared to teachers who say that 
their schools place the right amount of 
emphasis on SEL (53 percent). Less than 
half (44 percent) of teachers in schools 
that are very successful at developing 
SEL identify poor student behavior as 
a problem, compared to 66 percent of 
teachers who report their schools are less 
successful at SEL. Similarly, poor student 
behavior is identified as a problem by 67 
percent of teachers in high-poverty schools, 
compared to only 42 percent in schools 
with less than 30 percent of students in 
free/reduced-price lunch programs. 


SEL Prevents and Reduces 
Bullying 


Bullying is a key challenge in many 
schools, according to both students 
and teachers. One seventh grade girl 
explains, “Overall, most kids don’t have 
[social and emotional skills]. They are 
usually the people who hurt others’ 
feelings, and they walk away as if it is 
their fault for crying.” Nearly half (42 
percent) of teachers say bullying is at 
least somewhat of a problem. Among 
teachers who see bullying as a problem, 
a majority also think SEL is very important 
(75 percent). Research supports this 
finding. Programs focusing on SEL 
improve student relationships with other 
students and teachers, and research has 
found that SEL also helps decrease the 
number of bullying incidents. Various 


SEL programs have been found to cut 
in half the annual number of student 
fights, decrease violent behaviors by 19 
percentage points, and reduce classroom 
hostility. 88 SEL helps students relieve 
stress, manage anger, and deal with 
social situations by fostering a sense 
of well-being, safety, and self-worth in 
students. 89 In fact, among the seven 
most common outcome categories of 
SEL programs, approximately half of the 
programs reduced antisocial behavior. 90 
While students participating in SEL 
intervention programs frequently display 
conduct problems, such as aggression or 
bullying, participants in these programs 
received greater benefits. 91 Research also 
shows that levels of conflict decrease 
significantly in classrooms receiving 
SEL instruction, while classrooms not 
receiving SEL instruction experience an 
increase in conflict. 92 

Our survey also finds linkages between 
higher rates of bullying and schools 
with limited focus on SEL. About half 
of teachers (54 percent) who say their 
school places too little emphasis on SEL 
also say that bullying is at least somewhat 
of a problem. By comparison, about 


one-third (37 percent) of teachers who 
say their school places the right amount 
of emphasis say bullying is a problem. 

In addition, more than half of teachers 
surveyed (51 percent) in schools having 
less success developing SEL also say that 
bullying is a problem compared to only 
one-quarter (26 percent) of teachers in 
schools they report are successful at SEL. 
Furthermore, only 37 percent of teachers 
in schools with systematic SEL list 
bullying as somewhat of a problem. While 
bullying is a problem in schools with high 
rates of poverty, it is reported as a larger 
problem in more schools with low rates of 
poverty (47 percent versus 42 percent in 
high-poverty schools). 


SEL Improves School 
Climate 


Thirty-four percent of teachers list 
negative school climate as at least 
somewhat of a problem. Not only is 
negative climate associated with poor 
behavior, lack of interest, and bullying, 
it also contributes to risky or self- 
destructive behaviors, poor motivation, 


26 The Missing Piece 







and poor academic achievement. 93 In a 
recent study, only 29 percent of sixth to 
twelfth graders feel their school provided 
a caring, encouraging environment. 94 
The risk of students “developing harmful 
behaviors can be decreased and student 
achievement, performance and safety 
can be improved by [creating a positive] 
atmosphere ... where academic success, 
respect for self, others and property 
and the motivation to learn and actively 
participate in the school’s social life are 
expected and rewarded.” 95 

Our survey finds that teachers in schools 
with less-developed SEL programs are 


more likely to report negative school 
climate as at least somewhat of a 
problem (34 percent) and schools with 
less-developed SEL are more likely to 
report their school has a negative school 
climate. Teachers who report their 
schools are very successful at developing 
SEL programs are half as likely to say 
their school has a negative school 
climate compared to teachers who report 
their school does not have strong SEL 
programs in place (21 percent versus 44 
percent). Teachers in schools where SEL 
is not taught are nearly twice as likely 
to report negative school climate is a 


problem as teachers in schools where it is 
taught systematically (43 percent versus 
28 percent). 

Research has long supported the 
importance of a healthy school climate 
and using SEL as a means to create and 
sustain a positive learning environment. 

In a recent small sample study, 25 
percent of the studied SEL programs 
were directed at making a change in 
school culture and climate. 96 Research 
has found that school-based SEL 
programs have significant effect on 
students’ improved attitudes toward 
school and enhancing a student’s positive 


SNAPSHOT 

CLEVELAND, OH: SEL IS INVALUABLE TO IMPROVING 
BEHAVIORAL OUTCOMES AND SCHOOL SAFETY 


Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) is a large urban district struggling 
to meet the needs of an economically and ethnically diverse community with a 48 
percent youth poverty rate. 100 ' 101 It is the second largest district in Ohio, serving 
more than 40,000 students, nearly 68 percent of whom are students of color, and 
100 percent of whom qualify for free/reduced-price lunches. 102 

In October 2007, the former Superintendent called for heightened security 
measures in response to a shooting at one of the district’s 26 high schools. One 
component of his school safety strategy was a comprehensive evaluation of 
the conditions for learning, including the status of SEL, in district schools. The 
evaluation findings listed eight contributing factors to poor school climate and 
student misbehavior, resulting in unsafe learning environments, including harsh 
and inconsistent approaches to discipline, poor adult supervision, and a lack of 
social and emotional role modeling by school staff. 103 In response, CMSD launched 
its Human Ware initiative in August 2008, in partnership with American Institutes 
for Research, focused on increasing the safety of the district's students. 

Despite significant financial constraints in the past five years, the district 
continues to prioritize this work, adding CASEL as one of their key partners to 
help implement SEL programming systemically throughout the district. CASEL 
consultants provide technical assistance, coaching and training to district 
administrators and school leaders on planning, implementation, standards and 
assessment, and communication. 

One of district’s ten strategies to create a positive, safe, and supportive climate 
is to monitor students’ behavior and intervene at the first sign of difficulties 


by strengthening social and emotional competencies to prevent future 
misbehaviors and providing focused and sustained support to those students 
who have persistent problems. 104 This strategy is markedly different from the 
prior disciplinary procedure that focused exclusively on punishment. CMSD has 
transformed its in-school suspension program into a restorative instructional 
program called The Planning Center. Here, center aides help students learn to 
understand and manage their emotions, improve behavior, make responsible 
decisions at school and at home, and build relationships with their peers and 
teachers. Students use Ripple Effect, a software program that allows them to 
virtually simulate potential conflicts and evaluate the consequences of various 
responses. 105 CMSD has also implemented Promoting Alternative Thinking 
Strategies (PATHS), an evidence-based SEL program, in all its elementary schools. 

Six years after the Superintendent’s call to action and five years since the SEL 
initiative began, CMSD has seen several positive student behavioral outcomes 
including reductions in incidents of disobedient and disruptive behavior (from 
132 to 74), fighting and violence (from 55 to 36), harassment and intimidation 
(from 13 to 6), and serious bodily injury (from 13 to 6). 106 Additionally, the average 
number of reported suspendable behavioral incidents per school declined from 
233.1 to 132.4, and out-of-school suspensions decreased districtwide by 58.8 
percent. 107 The current chief executive officer of CMSD, who has been with the 
district since 2007 and experienced the tremendous growth in SEL programming, 
insists that we should not forget to “look at the important ongoing needs for social 
and emotional wellness of children and adults in our communities” when trying to 
make our schools a safer and more supportive place. 


A National Teacher Survey on How Social and Emotional Learning Can Empower Children and Transform Schools 27 



H SURVEY FINDINGS 2 


“Teaching these skills should be totally connected to the academic 
curriculum, because ultimately, these skills are not just important for 
the classroom, but for the workplace and for life.” 

— Stan Litow, Vice President of Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs, IBM 


self-perception or self-esteem. 97 SEL 
improves climate by establishing a safe, 
caring learning environment through 
peer initiatives, classroom management, 
school community building, and 
improved teaching techniques. 98 As 
a result, students feel valued, are 
motivated, and develop a broad set of 
social and emotional competencies that 
lead to better academic performance, 
behavior, and citizenship. 99 A teacher 
from Chicago explains, “Students really 
need [to feel] happy at school, ... before 
you can really engage them in reading 
and math.” 


ADDRESSING THE 
NATIONAL CHALLENGE 

MANY GRADUATES DO NOT 
HAVE THE SKILLS TO BE 
SUCCESSFUL 

Today’s education system is not keeping 
up with the demands of tomorrow’s 
workforce. A generation ago, two-thirds 
of all jobs required only a high school 
diploma or less. By the end of this 
decade, nearly two-thirds of America’s 
jobs will require a postsecondary degree 
or certificate. 108 Only 78.2 percent of 
America’s students graduate from high 
school on time, and fewer than 40 
percent of 25-34-year-olds have some 
postsecondary degree. 109 Yet, 29 million 
jobs in the United States — nearly half 
of all jobs that pay middle-class wages 
— require more than a high school 
diploma but less than a Bachelor’s 
degree. 110 By 2018, the nation will need 
22 million new college degrees — but 


will fall short of that number by at least 
three million postsecondary degrees 
(Associate’s or higher). 111 In addition, 
we will need at least 4.7 million new 
workers with postsecondary certificates. 112 
Employers also report that they are often 
unable to find job candidates with 21st 
century skills. This shortfall will mean 
lost economic opportunity for millions of 
American workers. 

SEL can be a critical component for 
ensuring students are educated for the 
increasingly competitive school-to-work 
pipeline. When surveyed, more than 80 
percent of dropouts say their chances of 
staying in school would have increased 
if classes were more interesting and 
provided opportunities for real-world 
learning. 113 A twelfth grade boy explains, 
“[Having social and emotional skills] 
would help you focus on your work better 
and rise to a promotion. The upper 
management looks for people to promote 
who have cool heads and are in control of 
their emotions.” 

The business sector agrees. Almost three 
decades ago, the National Research 
Council of the National Academy of 
Sciences and National Academy of 
Engineering convened a panel to identify 
the competencies that employers 
needed. 114 In addition to cognitive 
requirements, the panel identified 
competencies that relate to SEL. Human 
resource supervisors at companies 
wanted to see an ability to handle 
conflicts maturely; to work in groups 
to reach decisions; to demonstrate 
respect for the opinions, customs and 


differences of others; to be punctual and 
dependable; to exercise self-discipline; 
to set goals, allocate time, and achieve 
them; and to accept responsibility. 

The U.S. Department of Education in 
the 1990s conducted the Employer 
Employment Survey of more than 4,000 
employers to identify the expectations they 
had for a skilled and proficient workforce. 115 
The top two were skills obtained through 
social and emotional learning — attitude 
and communications skills. 116 Stan Litow, 
Vice President of Corporate Citizenship 
& Corporate Affairs at IBM, explains, 
“Teaching these skills should be totally 
connected to the academic curriculum, 
because ultimately, these skills are not just 
important for the classroom, but for the 
workplace and for life.” 

Other research reinforces these findings. 
The five most frequently reported 
applied skills that employers rate as 
“very important” all relate to SEL — 
professionalism, communication skills, 
teamwork and collaboration, critical 
thinking and problem solving, and ethics 
and social responsibility. 117 Not only do 
employers look for “hard skills” unique 
to the specific field, but also “soft skills” 
such as cooperation in groups, effective 
leadership, empathy, civic mindedness, 
goal-oriented mindset, and persistence. 118 

However, according to a recent study of 
employers, 70 percent of high school 
graduates are considered deficient in 
professional work ethic, and 70 percent 
are deficient in critical-thinking and 
problem-solving skills. 119 These skills 
are particularly important for global 
jobs where employees must navigate 
complex informal networks and cultural 
differences. 120 The good news is that 
students participating in SEL programs 
had better social skills than 76 percent 
of students not in those programs. 121 
Students who participate in SEL programs 


28 The Missing Piece 






have an average 23 percentage point gain 
in social-emotional skills than students 
who do not participate. 122 Businesses are 
beginning to catch on, creating reports 
that outline strategies for supporting 
employees and business school students 
in effective and appropriate business 
communication, but this can occur much 
earlier in the educational pipeline. 123 

Students agree. For example, a twelfth 
grade boy explains, “You have to be 
able to adapt to who you’re working with 
in every situation, even in a job later in 
life.” A ninth grade girl says, “Everyone is 
going to have coworkers where there are 
problems that come up. You will need to 
know how to solve the problems so you 
can settle your differences and move on 
and do your work.” 

Many leaders in government also agree. 

For example, Tim Ryan, Congressman 
from the 13th District of Ohio says, “Social 
and emotional competencies aren’t ‘soft 
skills.’ They are fundamental and essential 
skills. They are the foundation for all the 
other skills. If we want a tolerant society, a 


compassionate society ... we need to teach 
the skills that create that society — the 
social and emotional.” 


Teachers Believe SELWill 
Help Prepare Students for 
the Real World 


Teachers affirm that teaching social and 
emotional skills prepares their students 
for the real world (Figure 10). A majority 
of teachers (87 percent) believe SEL will 
be a major benefit in preparing students 
for the workforce. A similar majority (86 
percent) believe developing students’ 
ability to apply knowledge and skills to 
real-world situations should have a great 
deal of emphasis in schools. Nearly 
eight in ten teachers also believe a larger 
focus on SEL will have a major benefit 
on students’ ability to stay on track 
to graduate (80 percent), prepare for 
college (78 percent), and become good 
citizens as adults (87 percent). Teachers 
who believe SEL is very important are 
especially likely to believe schools should 


“Social and emotional 
competencies aren’t ‘soft 
skills.’ They are fundamental 
and essential skills. They 
are the foundation for 
all the other skills. If we 
want a tolerant society, a 
compassionate society ... we 
need to teach the skills that 
create that society — the 
social and emotional.” 

— Congressman Tim Ryan, 
Ohio’s 13th District 


place a great deal of emphasis on 
social and emotional skills (69 percent). 
Teachers who say SEL improves academic 
performance (74 percent) feel the same 
way. A teacher from Philadelphia explains, 
“I’m trying to teach my students to be 
respectful — how to work cooperatively, 
how to respond to each other, and really 
be a person in society . . . They need those 
skills as well to succeed.” 


FIGURE 10 


Teachers believe greater emphasis on social and emotional learning would have major career, 
school, and life benefits. 


Larger focus on social and emotional learning would have a major benefit on this: 


Preparing students for the workforce 

Students’ becoming good citizens as adults 

Students’ ability to move successfully through school, stay 

on track to graduate 

Preparing students to get to and through college 

Student achievement in 
academic coursework 



A National Teacher Survey on How Social and Emotional Learning Can Empower Children and Transform Schools 29 












ft SURVEY FINDINGS 3 


TEACHERS IDENTIFY KEY ACCELERATORS 
FOR SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL LEARNING 


Social and emotional learning (SEL) provides an opportunity for a powerful, student-centric approach to 
education that puts the social and emotional development of the child at the heart of every classroom, 
school, and district. Academic, social, and emotional learning are inextricably linked, and SEL can 
accelerate student learning by increasing students’ intrinsic motivation to achieve, their ability to be 
attentive and engaged in their work, their satisfaction with learning, their sense of belonging, and their 
desire to work cooperatively with other students. SEL also helps teachers become more effective, by 
fostering their own social and emotional development and supporting a caring and challenging classroom 
climate. SEL programs are gaining in popularity and are increasingly being integrated into school 
curricula. In the survey, teachers identified several ways to accelerate the use of SEL in classrooms, 
schools, and communities. 


Adopt Schoolwide 
Programming 


While the organic demand for SEL exists, 
teachers often resort to a fragmented 
approach to introduce crucial social 
and emotional skills to their students. 


Although the research on the efficacy of a 
systemic approach to SEL versus a more 
ad hoc approach is limited, it is sensible 
to think a more systemic approach 
would support student outcomes while 
also easing time burdens on educators. 
For example, schoolwide initiatives 
would support resource sharing and 


reinforce lessons. In discussions with 
administrators and teachers from schools 
with proven SEL programs, education 
leaders stress that whole school buy- 
in is crucial to their success. These 
programs boast systemic implementation 
and include teacher and administrator 
involvement as well as professional 
development and participation of school 
staff and part-time personnel. 

Schools are expected increasingly to 
play a large role in the development of 
youth from children to well-balanced 
adults. 124 While the survey indicates SEL 
is occurring organically, many schools 
do not view SEL as a core part of the 
education mission and many efforts 
are fragmented. 125 Less than half (44 
percent) of teachers surveyed say social 
and emotional skills are being taught on 
a schoolwide programmatic basis (Figure 
11). The lack of SEL programming is 
especially stark at the high school level: 
Only 28 percent of high school teachers 
say it is occurring schoolwide, compared 
to 43 percent of middle school teachers 
and 49 percent of prekindergarten and 
elementary school teachers. In addition 



30 The Missing Piece 








FIGURE 11 


Fewer than half of teachers report that social and emotional skills are taught in their schools on a 

programmatic basis. 


To what extent is teaching students social and emotional skills happening in your school ? 


Not sure 

2 % 


Not really 

In some teachers' curricula but not in others 

Happening on a programmatic basis schoolwide 

taught in 
my school 

44% 

44% 

10% 




I 


Elementary school teachers 
Middle school teachers 
High school teachers 



40% 



28% 



<30% low-income* 

>60% low-income* 



53% | 

39% 



I 


*lncome measured by free and reduced-price lunch. 


to high schools, teachers report that only 
39 percent of high-poverty schools have 
schoolwide SEL programming (where at 
least 60 percent of the student body are 
on free/reduced-price lunch). 

Only 15 percent of teachers identify the 
school administration as a major barrier 
to implementing SEL in their school. 
Rather, they say the biggest challenge is 
time. Nearly half of teachers (49 percent) 
volunteer that there is not enough time 
in the day and that mandates have 
stretched them too thin. When prompted, 
81 percent of teachers say not enough 
time to take on something new is a big 
challenge for a school trying to implement 
SEL programming, and 65 percent say it 
is a very big challenge. Despite the lack of 
time, the demand for SEL programming 
remains. These teachers still value 


SEL: 81 percent say they are fairly/very 
interested in receiving additional SEL 
training and 80 percent still think SEL 
is very important. Providing tools from 
the system or school level, or integrating 
SEL through schoolwide activities and 
classroom instruction, could support 
teachers in achieving their goal of SEL 
implementation while not significantly 
adding to their time burdens. 

Research corroborates the need for 
systematic SEL instruction. By applying 
SEL programming on a schoolwide basis, 
social and emotional skills may be taught, 
practiced, and applied to a diverse 
number of situations reflecting daily 
student life. 126 Effectively implementing 
SEL programming requires more than 
ad hoc teacher efforts, but rather ongoing 
professional development, coaching, 


and monitoring that can only be found 
if a schoolwide, systematic SEL process 
is put into motion. 127 However, there is a 
gap in research analyzing the effect of 
systematic schoolwide SEL instruction 
and evaluation versus individual, 
interventional, or ad hoc approaches. 
Focusing resources to research and 
analyze the benefits of systemic 
schoolwide SEL programming plus 
classroom-based instruction could help 
ensure more effective SEL programming 
in schools. 


Embed SEL in Student 
Learning Standards 


Nearly two-thirds of teachers (62 percent) 
think the development of social and 
emotional skills should be explicitly 
stated in their state standards (Figure 
12). This sentiment is shared by more 
than half the teachers in all grade- 
level subgroups: prekindergarten and 
elementary school, 65 percent; middle 
school, 64 percent; and high school, 55 
percent. Nearly seven in ten teachers in 


Nearly two-thirds of teachers (62 percent) and three-quarters of 
teachers in low-performing schools (71 percent) think the development 
of social and emotional skills should be explicitly stated in their state 
education standards. 


A National Teacher Survey on How Social and Emotional Learning Can Empower Children and Transform Schools 31 









ft SURVEY FINDINGS 3 


FIGURE 12 


Teachers believe the development of social and emotional skills should be explicitly stated in their 
state’s education standards. 


Should the development of social and emotional skills be explicitly stated In your state’s education standards ? 


Should not be explicitly stated 

32% 


Should be explicitly stated 

62% 



Elementary school teachers 
Middle school teachers 
High school teachers 

<30% low-income* 

>60% low-income* 

Low-performing schools 



*lncome measured by free and reduced-price lunch. 


high-poverty schools (68 percent) and 
six in ten teachers in low-poverty schools 
(59 percent) are likely to want SEL in 
their state standards. Teachers in low- 
performing schools want SEL explicitly 
stated in the state standards, with nearly 
three in four (71 percent) endorsing the 
concept. 

While it is difficult to provide clear- 
cut guidelines, research has shown 
that successful SEL interventions 
use program manuals or professional 
development materials to help maintain 
implementation integrity and improve 
the odds for success. 128 State learning 
standards encourage uniformity and 
coherence, and they help present a 
coordinated approach to a particular 
educational goal. 129 Learning standards 
may increase the likelihood that 
students will receive better instruction 
in SEL, experience improved school 


connectedness, and become better 
learners, because arguably standards 
will encourage schools to take SEL more 
seriously. 130 For example, when SEL 
standards were introduced in Illinois, 
many schools responded by developing 
plans, selecting evidence-based 
programs, and implementing schoolwide 
programs to promote students’ social, 
emotional, and academic learning. 131 
All 50 states have learning standards 
for prekindergarten, and 34 states 
have learning standards for infants and 
toddlers — and at both levels, almost 
all include SEL-related guidelines. 132 
Illinois is one of the first states to add 
SEL standards alongside its academic 
standards. 133 (See snapshot on page 
39 for more information on the Illinois 
state standards.) Kansas has adopted 
similar standards; in 2012 Kansas 
integrated Social, Emotional, and 


Character Development into a single set 
of standards for K-12. 134 

Teachers also endorse some evaluation 
methods for SEL. Only 16 percent of 
teachers state they have an evaluation 
system in place for social and emotional 
skills, and roughly half (51 percent) have 
a system for evaluating school climate. 
Despite this lack of current evaluation, 
nearly seven in ten teachers (68 percent) 
say it would probably or definitely be 
worthwhile for social and emotional 
skills to be evaluated on student report 
cards. Research indicates that social 
and emotional skills can be successfully 
evaluated and assessed. Yale’s RULER 
approach requires report cards to contain 
three items reflecting social competence 
and grades these on a scale of one to 
five. However, because many students 
have multiple teachers or may act 
differently in different classes, the score 


Four in five teachers (82 percent) report interest in receiving further training on SEL. 


32 The Missing Piece 












is a composite score. 135 PATHS, Raising 
Healthy Children, Second Step, and Too 
Good for Violence are other SEL programs 
that have successfully used assessment 
tools, such as self-reporting and teacher 
observation, to measure student 
behavior. 136 


Improve and Increase 
Professional Development 
for SEL 


Learning is a lifelong endeavor, and for 
teachers from several districts across 
the nation, this is especially true for 
SEL. Some teachers report it is easier 
to implement SEL in their classrooms 
after they themselves improved their 
social and emotional competencies 
and learned the associated language, 
enabling them to better model SEL 
positively for their students. Teachers 
feel more ownership over the process 
and more personal investment in its 
success when they are better trained. 


According to the survey, only half of 
teachers (55 percent) receive some 
form of SEL training, 23 percent of them 
in-service (Figure 13). Prekindergarten 
and elementary school teachers are the 
most likely to receive SEL training (60 
percent), while high school teachers are 
the least likely (47 percent). Four in five 
teachers (82 percent) report wanting 
further training on SEL, with 61 percent 
fairly or very interested (Figure 15). Three 
in four teachers (73 percent) view lack of 
training and knowledge on how to teach 
social and emotional skills as at least 
somewhat of a challenge to implement 
SEL in their classrooms. 

Research supports teachers’ beliefs 
that SEL programming is more effective 
when teachers are trained properly 
in SEL techniques, terminology, and 
methods. For example, 95 percent of 
teachers acquire the knowledge and skills 
needed for applying SEL in the classroom 
when training and SEL coaching are 
combined. 137 Teachers who attend more 


training sessions and teach more SEL 
classes have students who score higher 
on social problem solving, emotional 
literacy, and social competence. 138 
Teachers’ confidence in their ability 
to teach influences their delivery of 
SEL programming. 139 Effective teacher 
training is needed to ensure program 
success and sustainability, as teachers 
are uniquely positioned with in-classroom 
responsibility for a child’s learning. 140 
A recent meta-analysis found that four 
in twelve successful school climate 
programs do not actually involve sessions 
for students. Rather, the programs 
instruct teachers how to enhance their 
teaching style and classroom techniques 
in order to enhance social skills such 
as cooperative learning, classroom 
management, and a student-centered 
approach. 141 Encouragingly, according 
to our national survey, teachers with 
experience and training in SEL are more 
receptive to the idea that these skills can 
be measured. Teachers with training 
are more likely to agree that “students’ 



A National Teacher Survey on How Social and Emotional Learning Can Empower Children and Transform Schools 33 





* 


SURVEY FINDINGS 3 


FIGURE 13 


Just over half of teachers have training in teaching social and emotional skills; high school teachers 


and those new to the profession are less likely to have it. 

Have you received training on how to teach social and emotional skills to students ? 


Received training 

55 % 


Pre-K/elementary teachers 
Middle school teachers 
High school teachers 

10 years’/less experience 
11 to 20 years’ experience 
Over 20 years’ experience 



I 


45% 


— 

55% 



67% | 


Have not received training/not sure 

45 % 


Both pre-service & 

In-service professional 

Have not received training 

i in-service training 

development 

44% 

24% 

23% 


1 iReceived training/not sure which 

Pre-service formal education 1 i 


| 1% 

7% | 



Not sure whether 
received training 

1 % 


I 


FIGURE 14 


Majorities of teachers are interested in receiving further training in teaching social and emotional skills. 


How interested are you in receiving further training on the best practices for teaching social and emotional skills to 
students ? 


Not sure 

2 % 


Not at all 

Not that 

Somewhat interested 

Fairly interested 

Very interested 

interested 

interested 

21% 

28% 

33% 

8% 

8% 





Very/fairly interested 

61% 


Pre-K/elementary school teachers 
Middle school teachers 
High school teachers 

Low-performing schools 

10 years’/less experience 

11 to 20 years' experience 
Over 20 years’ experience 

Have SEL training 
Don’t have SEL training 


I 



I 


34 The Missing Piece 











“The kids who get [social and emotional skills development] from home 
need reinforcement. The students who don’t get it at home need to be 
taught it.” 

— Teacher, Philadelphia 


development and acquisition of social 
and emotional skills can be accurately 
measured and assessed” (49 percent 
versus 33 percent of teachers without 
training). 


Engage Parents and 
Families 


Finally, teachers recognize the 
importance of the connection between 
home and school. One teacher from 
Philadelphia explains, “The kids who get 
[social and emotional skills development] 
from home need reinforcement. The 
students who don’t get it at home need 
to be taught it.” Teachers volunteer 
“[students] not learning [social and 
emotional skills] at home” among top 
reasons to teach these skills in school. 
But eight in ten teachers (81 percent) 
say lack of skills reinforcement at home 
is a big challenge when trying to integrate 
SEL into teaching. More than half of 
teachers (66 percent) identify it as a very 
big challenge. A similar majority who 
view SEL as very important (80 percent) 
and think it definitely improves student 
academic performance (80 percent) 
say lack of reinforcement at home is a 
major challenge. Encouragingly, several 
districts have made parental involvement 
a priority in their SEL implementation 
plans. For example, administrators in 


Montgomery County, MD, have worked 
hard to ensure that parents are on board 
with and understand SEL. (To read more 
about MCPS’ efforts in increase parental 
support, see page 19.) 

Social and emotional skills are developed 
or further enhanced whenever a child 
interacts not just with fellow peers 
and teachers, but also with parents 
and other family members. Research 
shows that family involvement helps 
facilitate children’s cognitive, social, and 
emotional learning in addition to more 
positive attitudes toward school, better 
behavior, and higher self-esteem. 142 In 
fact, family support and involvement is 
most strongly associated with student 
engagement. 143 Children whose parents 
are more involved in their education have 
higher rates of attendance and course 
completion, better grades, and higher 
tester scores. 144 Motivational supports for 
learning, specifically a supportive home 
environment, are important to facilitating 
academic achievement. 145 When 
adolescents perceive they have a strong 
connection between home and school, 


they are less likely to engage in high-risk 
behaviors. 146 Research also finds that SEL 
can help improve home life. The learning 
and emotional climate of both home and 
school improves as children gain self- 
awareness, social awareness, empathy, 
problem-solving skills, and other social 
and emotional competencies. 147 A 
recent meta-analysis found that school- 
based programs that focus on parent 
involvement and engagement programs 
have statistically significant, positive 
effects on student outcomes, 148 in 
contrast to programs that only require 
voluntary parent engagement. 149 School- 
based shared reading programs are an 
example of teacher-parent partnerships 
successfully improving student 
outcomes. 150 A 2010 meta-analysis 
found that after-school programs that 
focus on fostering personal and social 
skills have a positive effect on a range of 
student outcomes, including improved 
self-perception, positive behavior, and 
academic achievement. 151 


A National Teacher Survey on How Social and Emotional Learning Can Empower Children and Transform Schools 35 






* SURVEY FINDINGS 3 


SNAPSHOT 

AUSTIN, TX: SCHOOL AND 
DISTRICT EFFORTS ALIGN 
FOR SEL RESULTS 


Nestled in south-central Austin, TX, Cunningham Elementary School serves 441 
students, about 57 percent of whom are Hispanic, 28 percent White, and 15 
percent students of color. 152 ' 153 More than two in three students (69 percent) are 
eligible for the free and reduced-price lunch program. 154 This diverse elementary 
school has recognized the importance of SEL for many years, but lacked a cohesive 
program, implementing only diffuse or informal pieces. Now, with support from 
the district, teachers and administrators are fitting those pieces together to create 
a unified approach to SEL, embedded in all aspects of the school. Once a month, 
during staff meeting, the principal has faculty share SEL best practices, develop 
schoolwide SEL activities, and discuss the importance of the whole child focus 
in education. Teachers also work to identify academic areas in which SEL could 
easily be integrated into existing lessons. For example, the art teacher works with 
students to make posters, strategically placed throughout the school, that remind 
students of strategies they can use to solve their problems and interact positively 
with their peers. 

Cunningham also has “peace paths," where students in conflict begin on either 
side, following the step-by-step instructions on each successive square until 
they find a resolution and meet in the middle. The path is available both inside 
and outside the school so that in lessons or in play, social and emotional skills 
are easily practiced. The “peace path” was also shared with parents during an 
SEL-dedicated coffee session hosted by the school’s principal. Parents reacted 
positively, asking to schedule a larger PTA meeting that would focus on teaching 
parents more strategies for practicing social and emotional competencies 
with their kids in their own homes. To evaluate the effectiveness of its SEL 
programming, Cunningham Elementary participates in the districtwide school 
climate survey and administers its own playground survey to assess student 
perceptions and growth. 

Cunningham is part of Austin Independent School District (AISD), one of eight big- 
city districts nationwide collaborating with CASEL to implement SEL systemwide. 
AISD is in its second year of implementation. Led by the district’s Social and 
Emotional Learning Department in partnership with CASEL's Collaborating 
Districts Initiative, 57 Austin schools have started implementing systemic SEL, 
with the goal that all 122 schools will be implementing within the next three 
years. 155 



AISD relies on a collaborative approach, providing training in self-management 
and conflict resolution to many of its school personnel, including cafeteria 
monitors and classified employees. It aims to create a common vocabulary and 
ways of interaction throughout the district so teachers, administrators, staff, 
and students across grade levels can successfully articulate their thoughts and 
feelings, strengthening relationships and problem-solving skills. All elementary, 
middle, and high schools also have their own SEL campus facilitator (an on-site 
champion who works to build capacity within schools for SEL). 

The SEL department is developing a districtwide parent series to teach parents 
about the importance of SEL and familiarize them with the common language 
so that they, too, may reinforce learning at home and provide guided practice. 

AISD also uses the Second Step program in its elementary and middle schools 
and School Connect in its high schools. These age-appropriate curricula are 
specifically designed to help students develop positive social and emotional 
competencies. 156 In addition to these districtwide initiatives, each school has its 
own unique strategies, evaluating their resources to design SEL practices that 
work best for them and their students. 

After these first two years, AISD administrators assert that the change in school 
climate is palpable. More students are on task and engaged during lessons. 
Discipline referrals are down and student interactions are more positive. The 
district is using these observable shifts as evidence of positive change to try to 
help secure increased funding for SEL programs by giving potential donors tours 
of their schools. 157 The principal of Cunningham advises educators throughout the 
nation to “run to get SEL and run fast,” because it can make a difference in your 
schools and your students' lives. 


36 The Missing Piece 




PATHS FORWARD 


As a nation, we have the opportunity to change the lives of millions of American youth with the use of 
a very powerful strategy — social and emotional learning (SEL). SEL gives students the fundamental 
skills to achieve in school and succeed in life. Self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, 
relationship skills, and responsible decision-making are the core competencies that teach all of us how 
to handle our relationships, our careers, and ourselves in an effective and fulfilling manner. Research 
consistently documents the benefits of SEL. Our survey provides powerful evidence that teachers endorse 
this transformative strategy as well. 

Although SEL is starting to be 
incorporated in federal policies and 
initiatives such as the Race to the Top 
District requests for proposals and 
the Academic, Social, and Emotional 
Learning Act of 2013, it has not been 
sufficiently prioritized. Federal, state, 
and local education policy is not yet 
aligned with the basic insights of the 
SEL field, and there is a gap in the 
public’s understanding of what SEL 
means; why it is important for education; 
and what parents, citizens, and young 


people can do to become effective SEL 
advocates and role models. To maximize 
the benefits of SEL, key polices and 
strategies must be pursued that promote, 
strengthen, and sustain SEL initiatives 
across the country. The following 
recommendations are guided by the 
opinions of more than 600 teachers 
in the nationally representative survey 
and informed by a variety of leading 
organizations and education-focused 
research groups. 158 


PROMOTE SEL IN 
CLASSROOMS, SCHOOLS, 
AND COMMUNITIES 


Link SEL to Schoolwide 
Activities and Other School 
Services 159 


Educators can incorporate social 
and emotional skills into classroom 
instruction, all school topics, and 



A National Teacher Survey on How Social and Emotional Learning Can Empower Children and Transform Schools 37 





after-school activities. They can use 
goal-setting instructions and focus 
on problem-solving strategies and 
the decision-making process. Across 
the school, educators can stress the 
importance of SEL application, not only 
in the classroom but also in everyday life 
through consistent and age-appropriate 
supportive services. Based on the 
specific age and culture of students 
and needs of the school, school leaders 
can develop coordinated and explicit 
problem-solving strategies on targeted 
issues (e.g., healthy lifestyle, conflict 
resolution, and healthy study habits). 
They can provide time in the curricula for 
students and teachers to learn, work, and 
practice these strategies. Academic and 
social and emotional learning should be 
mutually reinforcing. 


Conduct Resource and 
Needs Assessments in 
Schools 160 


For SEL to be a success on a systematic 
and strategic scale, the school and the 
community can determine the resources, 
needs, and readiness of the school 


and identify SEL best practices and 
measures that fit their school. School 
leaders can conduct resource and needs 
assessments that build on evidence- 
based SEL programming that is already 
being implemented and appropriately 
addresses the needs identified by 
students, parents, and school staff. 

Not only does this create a sense of 
ownership in the program, because it 
involves high-level school officials and 
teachers, it can help increase parent buy- 
in. Furthermore, school leaders should 
strive to create a learning environment 
that fosters more extensive personal 
interaction. This will allow teachers to 
understand individual students better and 
allow students to feel more engaged in 
the learning process. 


Ensure Effective 
Coordination with Out-of- 
School Partners 161 


Social and emotional skills development 
can link to all aspects of a child’s 
life — including his or her home life 
and extracurricular activities. Family 
involvement facilitates child’s cognitive, 


social, and emotional learning and 
functioning. A successful school-family 
partnership (SFP) must be based on the 
idea that all families can contribute to a 
child’s learning and development — and 
parents, as well as teachers, share the 
responsibility. Likewise, community- 
school partnerships can help to better 
facilitate a child’s progress through 
school. Establishing partnerships with 
community-based program providers 
and agencies like social services, mental 
health, and welfare can provide further 
out-of-school support for students. 

To facilitate the creation of student- 
family-community partnerships, schools 
can create a position of SEL or SFP 
coordinator, who can be involved with 
program implementation and serve as 
a liaison with families and community 
partners. Teachers can share SEL 
strategies, tools, and resources that 
match the children’s learning styles and 
skills with parents to help with at-home 
reinforcement. They can also coordinate 
with out-of-school services to recommend 
which competencies can be supported in 
extracurricular environments. 

Getting families and community partners 
into the classroom to observe and actively 
participate in SEL is another means of 
earning parent and community partners’ 
buy-in, as well as at-home and extra 
curricular reinforcement. Creating parent 
support during the assessment process 
includes home visits and engaging 
families in the initial program assessment. 
For example, students and parents can 
generate individual SEL goals at the 
beginning of each school year. This will 
encourage family presence in the later 
evaluation process. Family involvement in 
the subsequent individual assessment of 
students and during transitions (e.g. from 
middle to high school) can help parents 
and children navigate potentially stressful 
times. 


38 The Missing Piece 




STRENGTHEN SEL BY 
INVESTING IN EDUCATORS 


Provide and Fund Integrated 
Professional Development 
for Educators 162 


Educators should be provided 
professional development on teaching 
social and emotional skills during both 


pre-service and in-service (professional 
development). Professional development 
should focus on the core social and 
emotional competencies as well as on 
the cultural competencies, needs, and 
issues of their school. Only after teachers 
have an understanding of the deeper 
needs and climate of a school and its 
student body can the appropriate SEL 
tools be utilized. Professional learning 
opportunities should be provided not only 
to teachers, but to administrators and 


professional and paraprofessional staff. 
Interdisciplinary training for counselors, 
teachers, administrators, and other 
school and district personnel can help 
these educators work as highly effective 
teams to better serve their students. 

This additional education should include 
coursework on SEL best practices and 
instruction on climate, relationships, 
school culture, parenting support, and 
behavioral management. Professional 
development should focus on teaching 


SNAPSHOT 

DUPAGE COUNTY, IL: IMPLEMENTING SEL STATE STANDARDS 
AT THE LOCAL LEVEL " 1 


In 2003, section 15(a) of Illinois’ Children's Mental Health Public Act 93-0495 
required that the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) “develop and implement 
a plan to incorporate social and emotional development standards as part of the 
Illinois Learning Standards.” 171 The Act was based on strong research indicating 
that students with social and emotional competencies are more ready to learn, 
have better classroom behavior and social and emotional development, and 
perform higher academically. 172 ISBE responded by developing clear and consistent 
standards for kindergarten through twelfth grade. 173 The standards have three 
main goals: 174 

• Goal 31 — Develop self-awareness and self-management skills to achieve 
school and life success. 

• Goal 32 — Use social awareness and interpersonal skills to establish and 
maintain positive relationships. 

• Goal 33 — Demonstrate decision-making skills and responsible behaviors in 
personal, school, and community contexts. 

Each goal encompasses several learning standards that are themselves broken 
down into benchmarks specifying developmental^ appropriate social and 
emotional knowledge and skills for each grade level cluster: kindergarten to 
third grade, fourth to fifth grade, sixth to eighth grade, ninth to tenth grade, and 
eleventh to twelfth grade. 175 Finally, the benchmarks are made up of performance 
descriptors meant to aid educators in selecting and designing curricula, 
classroom activities, and assessments aligned with the standards. 176 

At El Sierra Elementary School in DuPage County, Illinois, part of Downers Grove 
Grade School District 58, teachers and administrators work hard to meet the 
state's SEL standards. 177 Downers Grove is one of many districts in DuPage County 


working with CASEL to implement these state standards on a local level. The 
support of SEL is so strong at El Sierra that two teachers were chosen to speak 
at a Capitol Hill briefing in September 2012 to promote awareness of SEL and its 
positive outcomes in school and in life. 178 

El Sierra serves 315 students, 65.1 percent White, 21.6 percent Hispanic, and 7.6 
percent students of color. 179 The school uses Responsive Classroom, an evidence- 
based model designed to improve social skills and behavioral and academic 
outcomes. 180 The program advises teachers to set aside ten to fifteen minutes 
every morning for “Morning Meeting.” El Sierra teachers assert that this time, used 
to practice social and emotional competencies and build a positive climate, has 
helped to dramatically transform the classroom environment. Students started 
working better in small groups, managing their emotions, and solving problems 
together. El Sierra also has implemented “School Families,” a program in which 
a group of nine to ten students meets with a school staff member once a month 
for thirty minutes. 181 Each “school family” is made up of at least one student from 
each grade. 182 During meetings, students and the staff leader get to know one 
another and participate in activities and discussions based on that month’s SEL 
theme. 183 One month, the groups talked about the concept of self-awareness — 
what it means to know themselves as a person and what they stand for. 184 Another 
month, School Families discussed regulating their emotions and ways to express 
anger that is both healthy and safe. School Families meet every month throughout 
their experience at El Sierra until they graduate and attend middle school. 185 

Both teachers and students are benefiting from El Sierra’s SEL standards-aligned 
initiatives. Stronger relationships through Morning Meeting, School Families, and 
other programs have resulted in both teachers and students excited and eager to 
attend school every day to learn and grow together. 186 


A National Teacher Survey on How Social and Emotional Learning Can Empower Children and Transform Schools 39 




educators how to integrate SEL into 
all areas of the curricula and create 
opportunities for student to apply social 
and emotional skills throughout the day. 


Tie SEL to Classroom, 
School, and District Goals 163 


Students and educators alike should 
increase transparency around social and 
emotional skill development. School, 
district, and state education leaders 
should work to align systems of reporting 
and accountability to clearly defined 
goals. District support and leadership 
for SEL is critical and will determine the 
extent to which teachers and other school 
leaders can plan and proceed. Some 
districts, such as CASEL’s Collaborating 
District Initiative in Anchorage, AK, have 
strategically integrated SEL into the core 
curriculum by developing benchmarks 
and standards and establishing a 
Department of Social and Emotional 
Learning. 164 One schoolwide approach 
is to develop an action plan that uses 
and reviews student data and adjusts 
for changing trends in the student 
population. This means identifying 
and prioritizing areas for improvement 
grounded in the data collected, looking 
for connections among different groups 
of students, examining trends in student 
social-emotional competencies, and 
reviewing SEL in conjunction with other 
school data (such as attendance). 
Research is needed to develop formative 
assessment tools that teachers can use 
to measure and track improvements 
in students’ social and emotional 
competence. 

Schools also can support student 
progress by reviewing report cards, 
discipline referrals, and attendance 
trackers to help identify students who 
may have recently experienced an 


event or social/behavioral problem 
that could foreshadow a higher risk 
of disengagement. Report cards can 
be modified to include social and 
emotional skill progress on a scale that 
uses common language and consistent 
routines based on the state standards. 165 


SUSTAIN SEL THROUGH 
HIGH-IMPACT LEVERS 


Create SEL Standards and 
Connect with Common Core 
State Standards 166 


State legislators should connect social 
and emotional development in existing 
state student learning standards and/ 
or create stand alone prekindergarten 
through twelfth grade social and 
emotional standards. Standards can 
provide clear expectations of what 
students should know and be able to 
do. These standards must be created 
in partnership with teachers, so that the 
standards support, not burden, teachers. 
Standards cannot be created with the 
unrealistic expectation that teachers 
in isolation can take on this important 
work. By providing clear guidance about 
evidence-based SEL approaches and 
what benchmarks must be reached 
in a given year, educators can have 
a manageable and clear framework 
with common language from which to 
interpret. Simultaneously, when these 
freestanding but focused standards are 
used, the focus is on the ends, and not 
the means. School districts and teachers 
then have the freedom to adopt SEL 
techniques and methods that suit their 
school's profile and needs. Connecting 
social and emotional competencies 
to Common Core standards and 
assessments can create additional 
incentives for districts to incorporate 


SEL into their education policies and 
practices. 


Ensure Sustainable Funding 
for SEL” 


Philanthropic and public investments, 
including Title II of the Elementary 
and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), 
should identify SEL training and program 
implementation as funding priorities. The 
ESEA provides districts with the flexibility 
and resources to apply professional 
development and other funding as 
states and districts see fit. Schools and 
districts can use these dollars to support 
additional professional development. 
Further, the state departments of 
education and the U.S. Department 
of Education should create funding 
preferences in competitive education 
grants that reward states or schools that 
clearly articulate an SEL-focused plan for 
improvement. SEL policies can also be 
included in school improvement plans for 
low-performing schools. 


Support Federal Policies 
that Promote SEL 168 


The U.S. Congress should pass 
bipartisan legislation supporting students’ 
development through SEL. Representative 
Tim Ryan (D-OH) is planning to introduce 
the Academic, Social, and Emotional 
Learning Act of 2013 in May 2013, 
based on the same model legislation 
proposed in 2011 by Ryan and former 
Representatives Judy Biggert (R-IL) and 
Dale E. Kildee (D-MI). The bill seeks to 
expand the availability of programs that 
teach students skills such as problem 
solving, conflict resolution, responsible 
decision-making, relationship-building, 
goal-setting, and self-discipline. Other 
members of the House should sign on to 


40 The Missing Piece 







the House bill, and a similar bill should 
be introduced to the Senate. 


Advance a Robust Research 
Agenda 169 


A robust pool of research can support the 
work of practitioners and policymakers 
alike. The Institute of Education Sciences 
needs to prioritize research on SEL and 
its effects on key issues such as school 
climate, bullying, student well-being, 


and academic performance. Additional 
important areas for exploration include 
evaluating the difference in impact 
between schoolwide SEL implementation 
versus classroom-only programs, as 
well as between standalone explicit 
social and emotional skills instruction 
versus integrating SEL with academic 
curriculum and teacher pedagogy. 
Another priority area involves developing 
or designing formative assessment, 
evaluation, and indicator systems that 
measure students’ social and emotional 


competencies. Research on the impact of 
systemic district, school, and classroom 
programming as well as strategies to 
assess student social and emotional 
competencies would fill important 
research gaps. Furthermore, analysis and 
study of the effect of state SEL standards 
developed in California, Illinois, Kansas, 
Pennsylvania, Texas, and Washington 
can serve as a starting point to creating a 
useful body of research. 



A National Teacher Survey on How Social and Emotional Learning Can Empower Children and Transform Schools 41 




CONCLUSION 


The lack of urgency around implementing social and emotional learning (SEL) in schools threatens the 
future success of America’s children. SEL is a proven strategy that is endorsed by teachers across the 
country. Yet too few schools and far fewer school systems are adopting explicit evidence-based SEL 
strategies or integrating evidence-based SEL approaches — both of which are needed. 

SEL has been underutilized for too long. Our lack of action inhibits students across the country from fully 
realizing their potential as knowledgeable, responsible, caring, and contributing individuals. The time 
has passed to debate whether schools should make SEL a central focus. Now we must act to ensure our 
students and teachers are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need to be successful in school, 
work, and life. 


42 The Missing Piece 



ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 


CASEL, together with Civic Enterprises 
and Peter D. Hart Research Associates, 
would like to give special thanks to 
everyone who worked to create this 
report. Specifically, we would like to 
thank each of the following: the CASEL 
Board and Staff, especially Tim Shriver, 
Board Chair; Jennifer Buffett, Board 
Member; Roger Weissberg, President and 
CEO; Jason Cascarino, Vice President 
for External Affairs; Adrian Uribarri, 
Manager for Communications; CASEL’s 
generous funders who supported this 
report, including NoVo Foundation and 
the Einhorn Family Charitable Trust, 
as well as the Robert Wood Johnson 
Foundation and 1440 Foundation 
that provide significant project-based 


support to CASEL for work featured in 
this report; Adam Kernan-Schloss and 
the KSA-Plus Communications team; 

Lily Rubino, 2012-13 fellow at Civic 
Enterprises; Megan Walker, Chief of 
Staff at Civic Enterprises; and Rebecca 
Friant, Policy Advisor at Civic Enterprises; 
Geoff Garin, President of Peter D. Hart 
Research Associates; and Corrie Hunt, 
Senior Analyst at Peter D. Hart Research 
Associates. 

CASEL, together with Civic Enterprises 
and Peter D. Hart Research Associates, 
also would like to thank the more 
than 600 teachers and students who 
participated in the national survey, focus 
groups, and interviews. They shared their 


thoughts and reflections with courage 
and honesty. We would especially like 
to thank the educators from Anchorage, 
AK; Austin, TX; Cleveland, OH; Chicago 
and DuPage County, I L; Eugene, OR; 
Montgomery County, MD; Nashville, 

TN; New York City, NY; Oakland and 
Sacramento, CA; Philadelphia, PA; 
Washington, DC; Warren and Youngstown, 
OH; and Washoe County, NV. 

Photos: Jason Cascarino/CASEL (cover 
photo). Jennifer Schneider/CASEL 
(photos on pages 5, 15, 23, 26, 36, and 
37). Adrian Uribarri/CASEL (photos on 
pages 6, 7, 9, 21, 25, 30, 33, and 38). 
Steven E. Gross (photo on page 41). 


A National Teacher Survey on How Social and Emotional Learning Can Empower Children and Transform Schools 43 



APPENDIX 1: METHODOLOGY 


In November and December 2012, teachers and students across America were asked to participate in 
focus groups, surveys, and interviews to assess the role and value of social and emotional learning in 
America’s schools. The nationwide telephone survey was conducted from December 7 to 10, 2012, among 
605 preschool through twelfth grade public school teachers. The margin of error is ±4.0 percentage points 
in the full survey sample and higher among subgroups. Slight weights were applied to ensure that the sample 
matched teacher and school characteristics of public school teachers. We are confident that the survey 
sample, once weighted, represents a true national sample of public school teachers in America. 


The survey was informed by three focus 
groups conducted among teachers 
in November and December 2012 to 
explore potential survey topics and to 
give some teachers an opportunity to 
express their views in their own words. 
Particular emphasis was placed on 
recruiting a diverse pool of participants 
in terms of school district, years in the 
profession, and personal demographic 
characteristics. Two of the focus 
groups took place in Philadelphia in 
November 2012; one of these comprised 
prekindergarten and elementary school 
teachers, and the other comprised a 


mix of middle and high school teachers. 
The third focus group with teachers 
took place in Chicago in December 
2012 and included a mix of elementary, 
middle, and high school teachers, all of 
whom had ties to CASEL and personal 
experience teaching social and emotional 
learning. 

The survey development and report 
findings also were informed by fifteen 
one-on-one, in-depth interviews with 
middle and high school students. The 
fifteen interviews with public school 
students in middle and high school 


were conducted in Philadelphia and 
Washington, DC, in November and 
December 2012. These interviews 
explored students’ perspectives on 
the qualities of an engaging school 
environment and their views on specific 
social and emotional skills. Discussions 
with key leaders from the business, 
philanthropy, government, and education 
sectors, as well as an exhaustive 
Literature and Landscape Review of the 
most current research on social and 
emotional learning, also informed the 
report. 


44 The Missing Piece 



CHARACTERISTICS OF THE SAMPLE 


The following profile of the 605 teachers 
interviewed for this survey reveals a 
sample that is representative of America’s 
public school teachers in terms of 
demographic characteristics and the 
diverse schools in which they teach. 

As the table below shows, the majority 
of teachers in the sample are women 
(77 percent) and white (86 percent). 
Teachers are distributed fairly evenly 
across a range of ages with the majority 
of teachers between the ages of 30 and 
59. 


DEMOGRAPHIC CHARACTERISTICS 


All Teachers (%) 

GENDER 

Women 

77 

Men 

23 

AGE 

18-29 

13 

30-39 

26 

40-49 

29 

50-59 

22 

60 and over 

10 

RACE 

White 

86 

African American 

7 

Hispanic 

6 

Other 

1 


The characteristics for the schools in 
which the teachers work are shown 
below. Nearly half (49 percent) of 
the teachers interviewed teach in 
prekindergarten or elementary schools 
while approximately one-quarter work 
in middle or junior high schools (24 
percent) or in high schools (26 percent). 
The sample is comprised of teachers 
from a diverse array of schools. More 
than one-third (34 percent) teach at 
schools in which at least 60 percent 
of the students are on free/reduced- 
price lunch. Another 30 percent work 
at schools in which less than half of the 
student body are White. 


SCHOOL CHARACTERISTICS 


All Teachers (%) 

TYPE OF SCHOOL 

Pre-K/Elementary 

49 

Middle School or Junior High 

24 

High School 

26 

PERCENT OF STUDENT BODY ON FREE / 
REDUCED-PRICE LUNCH 

Less than 30 percent 

28 

30 to 59 percent 

38 

60 percent or more 

34 

PERCENT OF STUDENT BODY WHO ARE WHITE 

Less than 50 percent 

30 

50 to 89 percent 

41 

90 percent or more 

29 

SCHOOL AREA 

City 

33 

Suburb 

21 

Small town 

19 

Rural 

24 

SCHOOL PERFORMANCE 

Low-performing school 

26 


A National Teacher Survey on How Social and Emotional Learning Can Empower Children and Transform Schools 45 



APPENDIX 2: ADDITIONAL INFORMATION 
ON CASEL AND RESOURCES ON SEL 
IMPLEMENTATION 


Since 1994, the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) has been the world’s 
leading organization to advance the science and evidence-based practice of social and emotional 
learning (SEL). CASEL has been at the forefront of defining the field of SEL and setting rigorous quality and 
professional standards. Through a coordinated set of strategies across practice, research, policy, and 
communications, the organization is currently engaging in a large-scale effort to make SEL an essential 
part of prekindergarten through twelfth grade education in the United States. 


Based on strong scientific evidence 
about the impact of social and emotional 
factors on students’ success in school, 
career, and life, CASEL supports 
districts in developing the capacity to 
incorporate high-quality, evidence- 
based SEL as an essential component of 
school improvement. Currently, CASEL’s 
Collaborating Districts Initiative (CDI) 
engages eight large school districts to 
plan, implement, and monitor systemic 
changes that will impact schools and 
classrooms in ways that influence 
students’ social-emotional development 
and academic performance. CASEL's 
collaborating districts — Anchorage, 
Austin, Chicago, Cleveland, Nashville, 
Oakland, Sacramento, and Washoe 
County (NV) — serve more than 
850,000 students in nearly 1,400 
schools. CASEL consultants work with 
district administrators to support and 
school teams to plan and implement 
evidence-based SEL systematically. The 
collaborative work involves: 

• Assessing the district’s SEL-related 
needs and resources 


• Developing a clear SEL vision and 
detailed long-term plans for SEL 

• Developing and adopting SEL learning 
standards and assessments 

• Adopting evidence-based SEL 
programs 

• Designing professional development 
programs to build internal capacity 

• Integrating SEL with existing district 
initiatives 

• Aligning budgets and staffing to 
support SEL 

• Monitoring SEL implementation 
process and outcomes 

• Establishing a plan for communicating 
with stakeholders about SEL 

• Participating in a cross-district 
evaluation and learning community 
with other districts 

During this engagement, the partner 
districts are connected together, 
documenting and collectively sharing 
lessons learned. CASEL generates 
knowledge from the experience that can 


inform similar efforts in districts across 

the country. 

The resources that follow can help you to: 

Promote SEL at Home 

• Download our Parent Packet for tips 
on how to promote SEL with your 
children at home and at school 
(http://casel.org/publications/ 
sel-parent-packet-ideas-and-tools-for- 
working-with-parents-and-families- 
full-packet/). 

• Read the Raising Caring, Confident, 
Capable Children brochure about SEL 
(http://casel.org/publications/raising- 
caring-confident-capable-children- 
brochure/). 

• See the SEL for Parents and Families 
page for more parent resources 
(http://casel.org/in-schools/tools-for- 
families/). 

• Find publications on social and 
emotional development in our 
Publications Catalog (http://casel.org/ 
research/publications/). 


46 The Missing Piece 



Promote SEL in School 

• Download the 2013 CASEL Guide 
on Effective Social and Emotional 
Learning Programs: Preschool and 
Elementary School Edition at http:// 
casel.org/guide/. This guide identifies 
well-designed, evidence-based social 
and emotional learning programs 
with potential for broad dissemination 
to schools across the United States. 
Based on CASEL’s work in research 
and practice spanning nearly two 
decades, we provide a systematic 
framework for evaluating the quality 
of classroom-based SEL programs. 

In addition, the Guide shares best 
practices for district and school teams 
on how to select and implement social 
and emotional learning programs. 

• Learn more about the Collaborating 
Districts Initiative, wherein CASEL 
supports eight large school districts 
in building capacity for high-quality, 
evidence-based programming to 
promote social and emotional learning 
in preschool through twelfth grade 
(http://casel.org/collaborating-districts- 
initiative/). 

• Download our PowerPoint 
Introduction to SEL, a tool from 
CASEL’s Implementation Guide and 
Toolkit. This tool clearly and simply 
explains SEL and why it is important 


for children’s school and life success. 
Complete with narrative notes for 
the presenter, it is designed to 
help explain SEL to teaching staff, 
boards of education, parents, and 
broader audiences (http://casel.org/ 
publications/powerpoint-introduction- 
to-sel/ and http://casel.org/ 
publications/sustainable-schoolwide- 
social-and-emotional-learning-sel- 
implementation-guide-and-toolkit/). 

• Read and share the Illinois SEL 
brochure explaining why Illinois 
schools are adopting SEL (http://casel. 
org/publications/illinois-sel-brochure/). 

• Read and share our short SEL 
background briefs: What is SEL? 
(http://casel.org/publications/what- 
is-sel/) and Youth and Schools Today 
(http://casel.org/publications/youth- 
and-schools-today/). 

• Check http://casel.org for updates on 
CASEL’s revamped SEL School Toolkit 
(“SchoolKit"). The SchoolKit is a guide 
and resource for school leadership 
teams to implement schoolwide 
academic, social, and emotional 
learning. It provides school leadership 
teams practical tools and systemic 
strategies to integrate SEL across all 
aspects of student learning in a caring 
and supportive school climate. The 
SchoolKit will be available in fall 2013. 


• Read and share Promoting Children’s 
Ethical Development Through SEL 
which describes a schoolwide SEL 
framework and one school’s journey 
using this framework to promote its 
students' academic and social and 
emotional development (http://casel. 
org/publications/promoting-childrens- 
ethical-development-through-social- 
and-emotional-learning/). 

• Read and share the book chapter, 
Social and Emotional Learning, 
by Zins, J.E. & Elias, M.J., for a 
concise summary of SEL — what it 
is, why it’s needed, how it fits in with 
systems of supports for students, key 
components of effective SEL, and the 
implementation process (http://casel. 
org/publications/social-and-emotional- 
learning/). 

• Read and share the article, 
Reimagining Education, by O’Brien, 
M.U., Weissberg, R.P., & Munro, 

S.B., for a vision of education at its 
best (http://casel.org/publications/ 
reimagining-education-in-our-dream- 
social-and-emotional-learning — or- 
sel — is-a-household-term/). 


A National Teacher Survey on How Social and Emotional Learning Can Empower Children and Transform Schools 47 



ENDNOTES 


1. Heitin, L. (2012, August 23). Polling Group: 
Student Success Linked to Positive Outlook. 
Education Week-Teacher. Retrieved from http:// 
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gallup_students.html?tkn=ZWMF6tOPpu57RjD 
GAQt6w0n0Ats4x8efRVDD&cmp=clp-edweek. 

2. Reyes, M., Brackett, M., Rivers, S., 
Elbertson, N., & Salovey, P. (2012). School 
Psychology Review 41(1), 82-99. 

3. See supra notes 45-47. 

4. Durlak, J., Weissberg, R., Dymnicki, A., 

& Schellinger, K. (2011, January/February). 

The Impact of Enhancing Students’ Social 
and Emotional Learning: A Meta-Analysis 
of School-Based Universal Interventions. 

Child Development, 82(1), 405-432; Durlak, 

J., Weissberg, R., & Pachan, M. (2010). A 
Meta-Analysis of After-School Programs that 
Seek to Promote Personal and Social Skills in 
Children and Adolescents. American Journal of 
Community Psychology 45, 294-309; and see 
supra notes 75-78. 

5. See supra notes 79-82; Mart, A., 

Dusenbury, L., & Weissberg, R.P. (2011). 
Social, Emotional, and Academic Learning: 
Complementary Goals for School-Family 
Partnerships. Handbook on Family and 
Community Engagement, 37-43. Charlotte: 
Information Age Publishing; Greenberg, 

M.T., Weissberg, R.P., O'Brien, M.U., Zins, 

J.E., Fredericks, L., Resnik, H., & Elias, M.J. 
(2003, June/July). Enhancing School-Based 
Prevention and Youth Development through 
Coordinated Social, Emotional, and Academic 
Learning. American Psychologist 58(6/7), 
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Building Learning Communities through 
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Bloodworth, M.R., Weissberg, R.P, & Walberg, 
H .J. The Scientific Base Linking Social and 
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Walberg (Eds.), Building Academic Success 
on Social and Emotional Learning: What Does 
The Research Say ? (pp. 3-22). New York, NY: 
Teachers College Press. 

6. See supra notes 83-87; and Payton, J., et 
al. (2008). The Positive Impact of Social and 
Emotional Learning for Kindergarten to Eighth- 
Grade Students: Findings from Three Scientific 
Reviews. Chicago, IL: CASEL. 

7. See supra notes 88-92; U.S. Department 
of Education. (2007). What Works 
Clearinghouse Intervention Report: Positive 
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ncee/wwc/pdf/intervention_reports/WWC_ 
Positive_Action_042307.pdf; Vega, V. (2012, 
November). Social and Emotional Learning 
Research: Evidence-Based Programs. Edutopia. 


Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/sel- 
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8. Sklad, M. Diekstra, R., De Ritter, M., & 

Ben, J. (2012). Effectiveness of School-Based 
Universal Social, Emotional, and Behavioral 
Programs: Do They Enhance Students’ 
Development in the Area of Skill, Behavior, and 
Adjustment?. Psychology in the Schools 49(9), 
892-907; and see supra notes 93-99. 

9. Carnelvale, A., Smith, N., & Strohl, J. (2010, 
June). Help Wanted : Projections of Jobs 

and Education Requirements through 2018. 
Georgetown University Center on Education and 
The Workforce. 

10. Balfanz, R., Bridgeland, J., Bruce, M., 

& Fox, J. (2013). Building a Grad Nation: 
Progress and Challenge in Ending the High 
School Dropout Epidemic — Annual Update 
2013. Washington, D.C.: Civic Enterprises. 

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Pathways to Prosperity Project. (2011, 
February). Pathways to Prosperity: Meeting the 
Challenge of Preparing Young Americans for the 
21st Century. Cambridge, MA: Flarvard College. 

12. Carnelvale, A., Smith, N. & Strohl, J. 

(2010, June). Help Wanted: Projections of Jobs 
and Education Requirements through 2018. 
Georgetown University Center on Education and 
The Workforce. 

13. See supra notes 113-123; and Payton, J., 
et al. (2008). The Positive Impact of Social and 
Emotional Learning for Kindergarten to Eighth- 
Grade Students: Findings from Three Scientific 
Reviews. Chicago, IL: CASEL. 

14. Bridgeland, J., Dilulio Jr., J., & Morison, 

K. (2006, March). The Silent Epidemic: 
Perspectives of High School Dropouts. 
Washington, D.C.: Civic Enterprises. 

15. See supra notes 129-137. 

16. See supra notes 138-142; Reyes, M.R., 
Brackett, M.A., Rivers, S.E., Elbertson, N.A., & 
Salovey, P. (2012). The Interaction Effects of 
Program Training, Dosage, and Implementation 
Quality on Targeted Student Outcomes for the 
RULER Approach to Social and Emotional 
Learning. School Psychology Review 41(1), 82- 
99; Flan, S. & Weiss, B. (2005). Sustainability 
of Teacher Implementation of School-Based 
Mental FHealth Programs. Journal of Abnormal 
Child Psychology 33(6), 665-679. 

17. ibid. 

18. See supra notes 143-152; Christenson, S. 

& Reschly, A.L. (2009). Handbook on School- 
Family Partnerships. New York: Routledge; 
American Institutes for Research. (2009, 

April 16). Alaska Initiative for Community 
Engagement Summative Report. Washington, 
D.C.: American Institutes for Research; 

Albright, M., Weissberg, R., & Dusenbury, L. 


(2011). School-Family Partnership Strategies 
to Enhance Children 's Social, Emotional, and 
Academic Growth. Newtown, MA: National 
Center for Mental Health Promotion; and 
Bridgeland, J., Dilulio, J, Streeter, R., & Mason, 

J. , One Dream, Two Realities: Perspectives 
of Parents of America’s High Schools. Civic 
Enterprises in association with Peter D. Hart 
Research Associates for the Bill & Melinda 
Gates Foundation. October 2008. 

19. The policy suggestions in Paths Forward 
were informed by a variety of leading social 
and emotional learning organizations and 
education-focused research groups, including: 
CASEL, National Center for Mental Health 
Promotion and Youth Violence Prevention, 
National Coalition for Parent Involvement in 
Education, International Academy of Education, 
the Harvard Family Research Project, the 
Laboratory for Student Success at Temple 
University, and the George W. Bush Institute. 

20. Representatives Judy Biggert (R-IL), 

Dale E. Kildee (D-MI), and Tim Ryan (D-OH) 
introduced the bill in the 112th Congress. 

21. Stillwell, R. & Sable, J. (2013). Public 
School Graduates and Dropouts from the 
Common Core of Data: School Year 2009-10: 
First Look (Provisional Data) (NCES 2013- 
309). Washington, D.C.: National Center for 
Education Statistics, U.S. Department of 
Education. Retrieved January 22, 2013, from: 
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22. Balfanz, R., Bridgeland, J., Bruce, M., 

& Fox, J. (2012). Building a Grad Nation: 
Progress and Challenge in Ending the High 
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2012. Washington, D.C.: Civic Enterprises. 

23. ibid. 

24. U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor 
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news. release/pdf/jolts. pdf. 

25. Belfield, C., Levin, H., & Rosen, R. (2012, 
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26. ibid. 

27. Bridgeland, J., Dilulio Jr., J., & Morison, 

K. (2006, March). The Silent Epidemic: 
Perspectives of High School Dropouts. 
Washington, D.C.: Civic Enterprises. 

28. Durlak, J., Weissberg, R., Dymnicki, A., 

& Schellinger, K. (2011, January/February). 

The Impact of Enhancing Students’ Social 
and Emotional Learning: A Meta-Analysis of 
School-Based Universal Interventions. Child 
Development, 82(1), 405-432. 

29. The Collaborating Districts include 
Anchorage, Austin, Chicago, Cleveland, 


48 The Missing Piece 



Nashville, Oakland, Sacramento, and Washoe 
County, Nevada. For more information, please 
see http://casel.org/collaborating-districts- 
initiative/. 

30. Durlak, J., Weissberg, R., Dymnicki, A., 

& Schellinger, K. (2011, January/February). 

The Impact of Enhancing Students’ Social 
and Emotional Learning: A Meta-Analysis of 
School-Based Universal Interventions. Child 
Development, 82(1), 405-432. 

31. Payton, J., et al. (2008). The Positive 
Impact of Social and Emotional Learning 
for Kindergarten to Eighth-Grade Students: 
Findings from Three Scientific Reviews. 

Chicago, IL: CASEL. 

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33. Collaborative for Academic, Social, and 
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(2011). Mental Health Promotion and Problem 
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50 The Missing Piece 



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121. Sklad, M., Diekstra, R., De Ritter, M., & 
Ben, J. (2012). Effectiveness of School-Based 
Universal Social, Emotional, and Behavioral 
Programs: Do They Enhance Students' 
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Adjustment?. Psychology in the Schools 49(9), 
892-907. 

122. Payton, J., et al. (2008). The Positive 
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for Kindergarten to Eighth-Grade Students: 
Findings from Three Scientific Reviews. 
Chicago, IL: CASEL. 

123. Sigmar, L.S., Hynes, G.E., & Hill, K.L. 
(2012, September). Strategies for Teaching 
Social and Emotional Intelligence in Business 
Communication. Business Communication 
Quarterly. 75(3), 301-317. 

124. Sklad, M., Diekstra, R., De Ritter, M., & 
Ben, J. (2012). Effectiveness of School-Based 
Universal Social, Emotional, and Behavioral 
Programs: Do They Enhance Students' 
Development in the Area of Skill, Behavior, and 
Adjustment?. Psychology in the Schools 49(9), 
892-907. 

125. Jones, S. & Bouffard, S. (2012). Social 
Policy Report: Social and Emotional Learning 
in Schools — From Programs to Strategies. 
Sharing Child and Youth Development 
Knowledge 26(A), 1-31. 

126. Durlak, J., Weissberg, R., Dymnicki, A., 

& Schellinger, K. (2011, January/February). 

The Impact of Enhancing Students' Social 
and Emotional Learning: A Meta-Analysis of 
School-Based Universal Interventions. Child 
Development 82(1), 405-432. 

127. Reyes, M., Brackett, M., Rivers, S., 
Elbertson, N., & Salovey, P. (2012). School 
Psychology Review 41(1), 82-99. 

128. Sklad, M., Diekstra, R., De Ritter, M., & 
Ben, J. (2012). Effectiveness of School-Based 
Universal Social, Emotional, and Behavioral 
Programs: Do They Enhance Students’ 
Development in the Area of Skill, Behavior, and 
Adjustment?. Psychology in the Schools 49(9), 
892-907. 

129. Dusenbury, L., Zadrazil, J., Mart, A., & 
Weissberg, R. (2011, April). State Learning 
Standards to Advance Social and Emotional 
Learning: The State Scan of Social and 
Emotional Learning Standards, Preschool 
through High School. Chicago, IL: CASEL and 
University of Illinois at Chicago. 

130. Dusenbury, L., Zadrazil, J., Mart, A., & 
Weissberg, R. (2011, April). State Learning 
Standards to Advance Social and Emotional 
Learning: The State Scan of Social and 


Emotional Learning Standards, Preschool 
through High School. Chicago, IL: CASEL 
and University of Illinois at Chicago; Osher, 

D., Kendzziora, K., & Chinen, M. (2008). 
Student Connection Research: Final Narrative 
Report to the Spencer Foundation (Grant No. 
200700169). Washington, D.C.: American 
Institutes for Research. 

131. Dusenbury, L., Zadrazil, J., Mart, A., & 
Weissberg, R. (2011, April). State Learning 
Standards to Advance Social and Emotional 
Learning: The State Scan of Social and 
Emotional Learning Standards, Preschool 
through High School. Chicago, IL: CASEL 
and University of Illinois at Chicago; Gordon, 

R., Ji, P, Mulhall, P., Shaw, B., & Weissberg, 
R.P. Social and Emotional Learning for Illinois 
Students: Policy, Practice, and Progress: How 
Illinois SEL Standards Came to Be and What 
the State Has Learned Through Putting Them 
Into Practice. In The Illinois Report 201 1 
(pp. 68-83). Institute of Government and 
Public Affairs, University of Illinois; Illinois 
Children’s Mental Health Partnership. Social 
and Emotional Learning (SEL) Professional 
Development Project: History of Illinois’ SEL 
Standards. Retrieved from http://icmhp.org/ 
initiatives/sel implementation.html. 

132. Dusenbury, L., Zadrazil, J., Mart, A., & 
Weissberg, R. (2011, April). State Learning 
Standards to Advance Social and Emotional 
Learning: The State Scan of Social and 
Emotional Learning Standards, Preschool 
through High School. Chicago, IL: CASEL and 
University of Illinois at Chicago. 

133. Jones, S. & Bouffard, S. (2012). Social 
Policy Report: Social and Emotional Learning 
in Schools — From Programs to Strategies. 
Sharing Child and Youth Development 
Knowledge 26(A), 1-31; Illinois State Board of 
Education. Illinois Learning Standards: Social/ 
Emotional Learning (SEL). Retrieved from 
http://www.isbe.state.il.us/ils/social_emotional/ 
standards.htm. 

134. PRNewsWire. (2012, April 18). 

Kansas leads the Nation in Adopting K-12 
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adopting-k-12-standards-for-social-emotional- 
and-character-development-147898025.html 

135. Reyes, M., Brackett, M., Rivers, S., 
Elbertson, N., & Salovey, P. (2012). School 
Psychology Review 41(1), 82-99. 

136. Collaborative for Academic, Social, and 
Emotional Learning. (2012). 2013 CASEL 
Guide: Effective Social and Emotional Learning 
Programs, Preschool and Elementary School 
Edition. Chicago: CASEL. 

137. Reyes, M., Brackett, M., Rivers, S., 
Elbertson, N., & Salovey, P. (2012). School 
Psychology Review 41(1), 82-99. 

138. ibid. 

139. Reyes, M.R., Brackett, M.A., Rivers, S.E., 
Elbertson, N.A., & Salovey, P. (2012). The 


52 The Missing Piece 



Interaction Effects of Program Training, Dosage, 
and Implementation Quality on Targeted 
Student Outcomes for the RULER Approach 
to Social and Emotional Learning. School 
Psychology Review 41(1), 82-99. 

140. Han, S. & Weiss, B. (2005). Sustainability 
of Teacher Implementation of School-Based 
Mental Health Programs. Journal of Abnormal 
Child Psychology 33(6), 665-679. 

141. Sklad, M., Diekstra, R., De Ritter, M., & 
Ben, J. (2012). Effectiveness of School-Based 
Universal Social, Emotional, and Behavioral 
Programs: Do They Enhance Students' 
Development in the Area of Skill, Behavior, and 
Adjustment?. Psychology in the Schools 49(9), 
892-907. 

142. Albright, M., Weissberg, R., & Dusenbury, 
L. (2011). School-Family Partnership Strategies 
to Enhance Children 's Social, Emotional, and 
Academic Growth. Newtown, MA: National 
Center for Mental Health Promotion and Youth 
Violence Prevention, Education Development 
Center, Inc. 

143. Christenson, S.L., & Havsy, L.H. (2004). 
Family-School-Peer Relationships: Significance 
for Social, Emotional, and Academic Learning. 

In J.E. Zins, R.P. Weissberg, M.C. Wang, & H.J. 
Walberg (Eds.), Building Academic Success 

on Social and Emotional Learning: What Does 
The Research Say ? (pp. 59-75). New York, NY: 
Teachers College Press. 

144. Albright, M., Weissberg, R., & Dusenbury, 
L. (2011). School-Family Partnership Strategies 
to Enhance Children 's Social, Emotional, and 
Academic Growth. Newtown, MA: National 
Center for Mental Health Promotion and Youth 
Violence Prevention, Education Development 
Center, Inc; Christenson, S.L. & Havsy, L.H. 
(2004). Family-School-Peer Relationships: 
Significance for Social, Emotional, and 
Academic Learning. In J.E. Zins, R.P. 

Weissberg, M.C. Wang, & H.J. Walberg (Eds.), 
Building Academic Success on Social and 
Emotional Learning: What Does The Research 
Say? (pp. 59-75). New York, NY: Teachers 
College Press. 

145. Christenson, S.L. & Havsy, L.H. (2004). 
Family-School-Peer Relationships: Significance 
for Social, Emotional, and Academic Learning. 

In J.E. Zins, R.P. Weissberg, M.C. Wang, & H.J. 
Walberg (Eds.), Building Academic Success 

on Social and Emotional Learning: What Does 
The Research Say ? (pp. 59-75). New York, NY: 
Teachers College Press. 

146. Resnick, M.D., Weissberg, R.P., Redding, 
S., & Walberg, H.J. (2005). Albright, M., 
Weissberg, R., & Dusenbury, L. (2011). School- 
Family Partnership Strategies to Enhance 
Children’s Social, Emotional, and Academic 
Growth. Newtown, MA: National Center for 
Mental Health Promotion and Youth Violence 
Prevention, education Development Center, Inc. 

147. Albright, M., Weissberg, R., & Dusenbury, 
L. (2011). School-Family Partnership Strategies 
to Enhance Children 's Social, Emotional, and 
Academic Growth. Newtown, MA: National 


Center for Mental Health Promotion and Youth 
Violence Prevention, Education Development 
Center, Inc. 

148. Jeynes, W.H. (2013, February 7). A 
Meta-Analysis of the Efficacy of Different Types 
of Parental Involvement for Urban Students. 
Urban Education 47(A), 706-742. 

149. Jeynes, W.H. (2007). The Relationship 
Between Parental Involvement And Urban 
Secondary School Student Academic 
Achievement: A Meta-Analysis. Urban 
Education, 42(1), 82-110; Jeynes, W.H. 
(2005). A Meta-Analysis Of The Relation Of 
Parental Involvement To Urban Elementary 
School Student Academic Achievement. Urban 
Education, 40(3), 237-269. 

150. Jeynes, W.H. (2013, February 7). A 
Meta-Analysis of the Efficacy of Different Types 
of Parental Involvement for Urban Students. 
Urban Education 47(A), 706-742. 

151. Durlak, J.A., Weissberg, R.P., & Pachan, 
M. (2010). A Meta-Analysis of After-School 
Programs that Seek to Promote Personal and 
Social Skills in Children and Adolescents. 
American Journal of Community Psychology 45, 
294-309. 

152. Snapshot informed by interviews and 
email correspondence with teachers, principals 
and administrators of Austin Independent 
School District. January-March, 2013. 

153. National Center For Education Statistics. 
(2010-2011). Enrollment Characteristics 
(2010-2011 school year) [Data file]. Retrieved 
from http://nces.ed.gov/globallocator/schJnfo_ 
popup.asp?Type=Public&ID=480894000311. 

154. ibid. 

155. Heinauer, L. (2013, January 14) Austin 
school district woos potential donors with site 
visits. Statesman.com. Retrieved from http:// 
www.statesman.com/news/news/local/austin- 
school-district-woos-potential-donors-with-/ 
nTwzG/. 

156. Committee for Children. (2012) Second 
Step: Social Skills for Early Childhood- Grade 
8. Retrieved from http://www.cfchildren.org/ 
second-step. aspx. 

157. Heinauer, L. (2013, January 14) Austin 
school district woos potential donors with site 
visits. Statesman.com. Retrieved from http:// 
www.statesman.com/news/news/local/austin- 
school-district-woos-potential-donors-with-/ 
nTwzG/. 

158. The policy suggestions in Paths Forward 
were informed by a variety of leading social 
and emotional learning organizations and 
education-focused research groups, including: 
CASEL, National Center for Mental Health 
Promotion and Youth Violence Prevention, 
National Coalition for Parent Involvement in 
Education, International Academy of Education, 
the Harvard Family Research Project, and the 
Laboratory for Student Success at Temple 
University, and the George W. Bush Institute. 


159. Middle School Matters. (2012, December 
31). Middle School Matters Field Guide: 
Research-Based Principles, Practices, and 
Tools for the Middle Grades (Draft). Dallas, TX: 
George W. Bush Presidential Center; Jones, S. 

& Bouffard, S. (2012). Social Policy Report: 
Social and Emotional Learning in Schools — 
From Programs to Strategies. Sharing Child and 
Youth Development Knowledge 26(A), 1-33; 
Albright, M., Weissberg, R., & Dusenbury, L. 
(2011). School-Family Partnership Strategies 
to Enhance Children 's Social, Emotional, and 
Academic Growth. Newton, MA: National 
Center for Mental Health Promotion and Youth 
Violence Prevention, Education Development 
Center, Inc; Elias, M. (2003). Academic and 
Social-Emotional Learning. Education Practices 
Series — 11. Brussels: International Academy 
of Education; Durlak, J. & Weissberg, R. 

(2007). The Impact of After-School Programs 
that Promote Pesonal and Social Skills. 

Chicago, IL: CASEL. 

160. Jones, S. & Bouffard, S. (2012). Social 
Policy Report: Social and Emotional Learning 
in Schools — From Programs to Strategies. 
Sharing Child and Youth Development 
Knowledge 26(A), 1-33; Yates, T., et al. 

(2008). Research Synthesis on Screening 
and Assessing Social-Emotional Competence. 
Nashville, TN: The Center on the Social and 
Emotional Foundations for Early Learning, 
Vanderbilt University. 

161. Christenson, S. & Reschly, A.L. (2009). 
Handbook on School-Family Partnerships. 

New York: Routledge; American Institutes for 
Research. (2009, April 16). Alaska Initiative 
for Community Engagement Summative 
Report. Washington, D.C.: American Institutes 
for Research; Middle School Matters. (2012, 
December 31). Middle School Matters Field 
Guide: Research-Based Principles, Practices, 
and Tools for the Middle Grades (Draft). Dallas, 
TX: George W. Bush Presidential Center; 
Albright, M., Weissberg, R., & Dusenbury, L. 
(2011). School-Family Partnership Strategies 
to Enhance Children 's Social, Emotional, and 
Academic Growth. Newton, MA: National 
Center for Mental Health Promotion and Youth 
Violence Prevention, Education Development 
Center, lnc ; CASEL. (2012). 2013 CASEL 
Guide: Effective Social and Emotional Learning 
Programs — Preschool and Elementary School 
Edition. Chicago, IL: CASEL; Cooper, J., 

Masi, R., & Vick, J. (2009, August). Social- 
Emotional Development in Early Childhood: 
What Every Policymaker Should Know. New 
York: National Center for Children in Poverty, 
Columbia University; Yates, T., et al. (2008). 
Research Synthesis on Screening and Assessing 
Social-Emotional Competence. Nashville, 

TN: The Center on the Social and Emotional 
Foundations for Early Learning, Vanderbilt 
University; Blis, D. & Hughes, K. (2002, 
October). Partnerships by Design: Cultivating 
Effective and Meaningful School-Family 
Partnerships. Portland: Northwest Regional 
Educational Laboratory. 


A National Teacher Survey on How Social and Emotional Learning Can Empower Children and Transform Schools 53 



162. Jones, S. & Bouffard, S. (2012). Social 
Policy Report: Social and Emotional Learning 
in Schools — From Programs to Strategies. 
Sharing Child and Youth Development 
Knowledge 26(4), 1-33; Albright, M., 

Weissberg, R., & Dusenbury, L. (2011). School- 
Family Partnership Strategies to Enhance 
Children’s Social, Emotional, and Academic 
Growth. Newton, MA: National Center for 
Mental Health Promotion and Youth Violence 
Prevention, Education Development Center, 

Inc; Elias, M. (2003). Academic and Social- 
Emotional Learning. Education Practices Series 
— 11. Brussels: International Academy of 
Education. 

163. CASEL. (2012). 2013 CASEL Guide: 
Effective Social and Emotional Learning 
Programs — Preschool and Elementary School 
Edition. Chicago, IL: CASEL; Middle School 
Matters. (2012, December 31). Middle 
School Matters Field Guide: Research-Based 
Principles, Practices, and Tools for the Middle 
Grades (Draft). Dallas, TX: George W. Bush 
Presidential Center. 

164. CASEL. Anchorage, Alaska — District 
Overview, http://casel.org/collaborating-districts- 
initiative/anchorage-alaska/. 

165. Elias, M.J. (2009). Social-Emotional and 
Character Development and Academics as a 
Dual Focus of Educational Policy. Education 
Policy 23, 831-846; Elias, M.J., Wang, M.C., 
Weissberg, R.P., Zins, J.E., & Walberg, H.J. 
(2002). The Other Side of the Report Card: 
Student Success Depends on More than 

Test Scores. American School Board Journal 
189(11), 28-30; Mart, A., Dusenbury, L, & 
Weissberg, R.P. (2011). Social, Emotional, 
and Academic Learning: Complementary Goals 
for School-Family Partnerships. Handbook on 
Family and Community Engagement, 37-43. 
Charlotte: Information Age Publishing. 

166. Dusenbury, L., Zadrazil, J., Mart, A., & 
Weissberg, R. (2011, April). State Learning 


Standards to Advance Social and Emotional 
Learning: The State Scan of Social and 
Emotional Learning Standards, Preschool 
through High School. Chicago, IL: CASEL and 
University of Illinois at Chicago; Jones, S. & 
Bouffard, S. (2012). Social Policy Report: 
Social and Emotional Learning in Schools — 
From Programs to Strategies. Sharing Child 
and Youth Development Knowledge 26(4), 

1-33; CASEL. (2012). 2013 CASEL Guide: 
Effective Social and Emotional Learning 
Programs — Preschool and Elementary School 
Edition. Chicago, IL: CASEL; Achieve. (2012, 
December). Understanding the Skills in the 
Common Core State Standards. Retrieved from 
http://www.achieve.org/files/Understanding- 
Skills-CCSS.pdf. 

167. Weissberg, R. (2013, January 7). Letter 
to Vice-President Joe Biden. Chicago, IL: 
CASEL; Jones, S. & Bouffard, S. (2012). Social 
Policy Report: Social and Emotional Learning 

in Schools — From Programs to Strategies. 
Sharing Child and Youth Development 
Knowledge 26(4), 1-33. 

168. CASEL. Federal Policy. Retrieved March 
26, 2013, from: http://casel.org/policy- 
advocacy/federal-policy/; CASEL. Academic, 
Social, and Emotional Learning Act of 201 1 
— Bill Summary. Retrieved March 26, 2013, 
from: http://casel.org/publications/academic- 
social-and-emotional-learning-act-of-201 1- 
summary/. 

169. Weissberg, R. (2013, January 7). Letter 
to Vice-President Joe Biden. Chicago, IL: 
CASEL; Jones, S. & Bouffard, S. (2012). Social 
Policy Report: Social and Emotional Learning 

in Schools — From Programs to Strategies. 
Sharing Child and Youth Development 
Knowledge 26(4), 1-33. 

170. Snapshot informed by interviews and 
email correspondence with teachers and 
administrators of Downers Grove Grade School 
District 58. January-March, 2013. 


171. Illinois State Board of Education. Illinois 
Learning Standards Social/Emotional Learning 
(SEL). Retrieved from http://www.isbe. state. 

il.us/ils/social_emotional/standards.htm. 

172. ibid. 

173. ibid. 

174. ibid. 

175. ibid. 

176. ibid. 

177. Downers Grove Grade School District 58. 
Fast Facts. Retrieved from http://www.dg58.org/ 
domain/93. 

178. El Sierra Elementary School. Home. 
Retrieved from http://www.dg58.org/es. 

179. Illinois Interactive Report Card. (2012). 

El Sierra Elem School-Downers Grove GSD 
58 Demographic Information. [Data file]. 
Retrieved from http://iirc.niu.edu/School. 
aspx?schoolld= 190220580022002. 

180. Northeast Foundation For Children, Inc. 
(2013) Responsive Classroom Home. Retrieved 
from http://www.responsiveclassroom.org/. 

181. Waldorf, J.K. (2012, May 3). El Sierra 
School Families Tackle Social-Emotional 
Learning Goals. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 
from http://triblocal.com/downers-grove/ 
community/galleries/2012/05/el-sierra-school- 
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182. ibid. 

183. ibid. 

184. ibid. 

185. ibid. 


54 The Missing Piece 



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